Friday, July 29, 2011

Sorting through Project Commitment and Priority Using Getting Things Done

David Allen describes an excellent system for personal productivity in his book Getting Things Done. I make a point of trying to review different sections of his book every few months. I usually review parts of the book that describe methods that feel unnatural or awkward to me.  An unnatural or awkward activity is usually a good indicator of where an improvement is needed.

One area of Getting Things Done that I review frequently involves projects and the prioritization of the next actions for those projects. These activities always cause me to second guess myself. I often feel that my choices for projects and the priorities of their next actions are suspect. What I want is a way to validate the decisions I make when managing my projects. In seeking to validate my decisions I found surprisingly little guidance in Getting Things Done and ultimately settled on a solution using Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix (as described in his book First Things First).

In what follows, I describe how the stuff in my inbox ends up on my project list instead of my someday/maybe list and why I feel that’s ok in spite of the problems it creates. I also describe my solution and why it is effective.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Twitter Feed

Found a cool service that automatically publishes new blog posts to your Twitter account. Check out Twitter Feed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Accidental Creative (Book Review)

I am currently reading Todd Henry’s new book The Accidental Creative. I have been a subscriber to his podcast (also called The Accidental Creative) for several months and pre-ordered the book as a result of what Todd had to say during those podcasts that preceded the publication of his book. His podcasts are engaging and always left me with something to think about. A few prompted more investigation into the topics he discussed. They are definitely worth checking out.

In truth, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the book would be a worthwhile read but ultimately decided to purchase it because I admired the quality of the messaging Todd created around the book—if you enjoy a good marketing campaign it is worthwhile to look at how Todd marketed this book. There was something about the consistency and creativity behind the messaging in the podcasts that resonated with me. It left me with the impression that the quality of information in the book would be high even if that content turned out to be a repeat of the podcasts.

I am happy to say that the book has not disappointed. The podcasts complement, rather than repeat, what is in the book. Reading Todd’s book has provided me more insightful and thought provoking material on creativity.