• Guy Kawasaki • Dustin Wax • Leo Babauta • Michael Hyatt • James Mallinson • Kris Rowlands • • Andrew Mason • Michael Deutch • Andrew Yang • Michael Sliwinski and more...
#2 (April 2009)
magazine Exclusive Interview with
G uy Kawasaki
about Entrepreneurship, Technology, Internet and Getting Things Done
great articles about:
4 Setting SMART Goals for 2009 4 New Year’s Resolutions 4 Motivation and how not to lose it 4 Practical Brainstorming with Mind Maps 4 Productivity Steps for everyone Sponsored by
From the Editor
Changing the way the world of productivity works By Michael Sliwinski, Editor
’m on the airplane 36,000 feet
I’ll make sure to share all these experiences
above Greenland heading towards
from the GTD summit in issue #3 of the
San Francisco for the GTD Summit
organized by the David Allen
Company. It’s been almost a year since
This issue of the Productive Magazine
we’ve met with David Allen for the first
took significantly more time to get ready
guru – Guy Kawasaki. When I told Guy
time and I’m very excited to be able
but it’s here on your screen, so it means
about the #1 of the magazine, he loved
to participate in his event and in the first
that after the very successful issue #1
the idea and rushed to help me promote it
worldwide gathering of GTD (Getting
we’ve managed to get #2 out of the door
and spread the word. When I later asked
Things Done) advocates and enthusiasts.
eventually and we’re looking forward
him for an interview possibility, he didn’t
to have #3 ready sooner than later.
hesitate a second. During the GTD Summit
I’m going to meet David again, but not only him. I’ll have a chance to talk
we’ll meet in person for the very first time. As a tradition, for the cover of the
to most of the Davidco crew and to many
magazine and the key interview I’m
many friends I’ve come to know online
constantly looking for people who are not
while promoting my GTD web application
only famous, but most of all inspire me
Productive Magazine, we’ll be looking
– Nozbe. Finally we’ll be able to connect
to be and do better. After David Allen, the
for patterns and “themes” for each and
in person. I think this part is the most
father of GTD in #1, I was honored to be
every issue. The first issue didn’t have
exciting of all. Can’t wait to exchange
able to interview the legend of Silicon
such a theme. It was about different
laughs, talks and ideas with them.
Valley and my personal entrepreneurship
aspects of productivity. After all, it was
As we’re developing the concept of the
our starting point. This one is still not
and more bloggers as they come to us with
totally themed, but we’ve tried to focus
great content and enthusiasm. The future
more on resolutions and on what inspires
is wide open and I can’t wait to give you
us to move forward and be better. I’ve
PM #3 with my impressions from the GTD
also added the intro to the 10-step Simply
Get Things Done Course at the end of the magazine. It’s a course many of my Nozbe users found useful when starting with GTD.
Meanwhile let me invite you to check out our second issue of the Productive Magazine and hope you’ll find it a great
I’m still not sure whether we should be
reviewing different productivity solutions or applications... but we definitely will be taking different productivity techniques for a spin. This is why, in this issue, you’ll learn
Michael Sliwinski Editor, Productive Magazine
more about Mind-mapping – something
Founder, Nozbe – Simply Get Things
I’m using all the time for my “strategic”
Done! web (and iPhone) application
thinking. If you follow our Productive Magazine blog carefully, you know I’m planning each issue of the magazine in a mind map. Our “Productive Magazine Family” is also growing. I’ve received great support from Lori Anderson, Sarah Lauser, Joe Pirola and Dustin Wax to help me edit this issue and prepare foundations for the next one. We are accepting articles from more
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
Table of contents
Productive!Magazine www.ProductiveMagazine.com Sponsor: www.Nozbe.com Chief Editor: Michael Sliwinski email@example.com Technical Editor: Maciej Budzich firstname.lastname@example.org www.blog.mediafun.pl
Michael Sliwinski with Guy Kawasaki The Art of Changing the World
Editorial Team: Lori Anderson, Dustin Wax, Sarah Lauser, Joe Pirola Your Online tool for Getting Things Done – available in your computer browser, mobile phone and on your iPhone.
Dustin M. Wax How to Set Goals That Lead to Success
Leo Babauta The Single Secret to Making 2009 Your Best Year Ever
Michael Hyatt How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week
James Mallinson Why You Shouldn’t Do New Year’s Resolutions
Kris Rowlands Say “No” to make “Yes” sound better
Tribute: Marc Orchant (1957-2007) The Productive!Magazine is dedicated to the memory of a productivity guru, great blogger and a very close friend, Marc Orchant who passed away on 9th December 2007. All articles are copyright © by their respective authors. Productive!Magazine is copyright © by Michael Sliwinski. Getting Things Done® and GTD® are the registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.
Andrew Mason What’s Wrong With New Year’s Resolutions?
Andrew Yang Productivity For Groups – Because You’re Not Really In Control
Michael Deutch Making it all work – GTD with Mindmapping
Michael Sliwinski Simply Get Things Done Course – from 0 to Productivity in 10 simple steps
Interview with Guy Kawasaki
Reality Check The Art of Changing the World by Michael Sliwinski
ichael Sliwinski: I can’t conduct an interview with you without talking about the „Apple time” in your life. How
did it happen that, from a „jewelry salesman”, you transformed into hi-tech Mac-evangelist? Guy Kawasaki: In one word, the answer is „nepotism.” My college roommate hired me into the Macintosh Division to work for him. Steve Jobs must have been out of the office that day because on paper I had neither the work nor educational background for the job. This experience illustrates an important point about productivity and hiring: sometimes one should look beyond the lack of a perfect background. What’s as important as work and education is whether the person „gets it” and „loves it.” I got and loved Macintosh from the first moment I saw it in 1983. The flip side is also true: people with the perfect backgrounds who don’t get it and don ‘t love it can fail. Ideally, you’d like the right background and a love of the product, but most companies focus on only the former. My ranking of importance is: get it/love it, work experience, and then educational background. Ý
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
magazine MS: You said that back in the ‘80s you were
they need to build an infrastructure
isn’t going to succeed. My issue is the
changing the world with the Mac. Looking
immediately. Suffice it to say, the revenues
order of priorities: If you change the world,
at the current Apple products, do you still
don’t come but the overhead is in place.
you’ll probably make money. But if you set
believe they are changing the world?
As a rule of thumb, I divide their
out to only make money, you’ll probably
GK: Macintosh made computers
conservative forecasts by 100 and add
attract the wrong kind of employees and
accessible to “the rest of us” because of its
a year to the shipping date. That’s proven
strive to achieve the wrong metrics.
user interface. It enabled people who didn’t
to be about right.
use computers to now do so, and it enabled people who were using computers to use them better. That’s not as true with iPod and iPhone because they didn’t open up entirely new markets to the same degree as personal computers. Still, they do kick butt.
MS: Right now the dark clouds of crisis are
have revenue--unless you are a not-for-
My issue is the order of priorities: If you change the world, you’ll probably make money.
MS: If you believed so much in Apple, why
approaching and the whole planet seems
profit, though even these organizations
did you leave in 1997? Just when Steve
to be affected. No job is secure now and we
do need donations and that is revenue of
Jobs was coming back? Didn’t you want
learn each day of many companies falling. Any
a sort. However, when all is said and done,
to change the world with him?
tips for entrepreneurs, as well as employed
the companies that changed the world, like
GK: It’s a long story: an entrepreneurial
professionals, on how to survive the crisis?
Apple, eBay, Google and Cisco, also make
opportunity presented itself that I couldn’t
GK: I wish I had the definitive answer
a ton of money..
resist, and Apple with Steve Jobs didn’t
to this question. Right after Christmas,
Returning to the venture capitalist pitch,
need little old me to succeed--as history
I was at the Stanford Shopping Center.
the right approach is “This is how we want
has clearly shown!
There were three kinds of stores: (a) 50-70%
to change the world.... When we do it, this
off sales; (b) no sales but no customers; (c)
is how we’ll make money...”
MS: Taking the step as an entrepreneur,
no sales with customers. The only store in
weren’t you afraid of all the potential
the third category was Apple.
risks? Giving up the great job with Apple,
It’s easy for me to say, but there’s
MS: Speaking of apps, I know your killer app is Twitter. I even heard you say you
the company you believed in so much,
a lesson there: create stuff that’s
could easily give up your mobile phone but
and starting on your own? Many people
compelling and unique. That’s the key
you wouldn’t give up Twitter. Why do you
fear this kind of leap.
in hard times. We’re in the middle of
prefer Twitter to your beautiful iPhone?
GK: You have to understand Silicon
a drought right now, so maybe you can’t
GK: I can easily give up my iPhone or any
Valley. Here, people wonder why you
do anything right away, but you can
other cell phone. I don’t talk much on my
don’t start a company, not why you left
prepare for the end of the drought by
iPhone, and I use it mostly as a portable
an existing one. The mentality is very
keeping this concept in mind.
email and Twitter machine. I’m just not
different from most places--and one of the
Also, you have to believe that “this too
keys to the success of Silicon Valley. I don’t
shall pass.” Business is cyclical, and business
I can use a landline as a substitute or grab
know of a place on earth where failure is
is also deceptive because things are never
someone else’s phone for a quick call.
more tolerated than Silicon Valley.
as good or as bad as they seem. This is one
MS: During your career as an entrepreneur, made? What did you learn from it? GK: During the dot-com boom times,
a phone person--when I need a phone,
By contrast, I know of no substitute
of those times that you just have to gut it
for Twitter. How else can I reach 144,000
out. There’s no magical solution.
people instantly and for free? Twitter is the
can you list the biggest mistake that you’ve
best marketing tool since television, and MS: It really inspired me when you said
unlike television, you don’t need to spend
“entrepreneurs shouldn’t be focused on
millions of dollars to buy exposure.
I over-expanded Garage.com. I had
making money, but on making meaning”.
to layoff quite a few people when the
I’m reminded about it each time I get an
MS: Isn’t constant Twittering distracting
bubble burst. I learned that “trees do not
email from a user of my Nozbe app saying
you from daily activities and daily work?
grow to the sky”--more tactically, I learned
how it improved their life and how much
I often shut down my Skype, IM, and
not to expand in anticipation of success.
they can get done thanks to it. Are there
other tools to make sure I can get stuff
still many startups coming to you focused
done. With you being constantly on
only on making money?
Twitter, how do you get stuff done?
To this day, this is a very common mistake for entrepreneurs. Most of them spout off about how their “conservative”
Obviously, a balance is needed because you can’t change the world if you don’t
GK: Don’t get me wrong: approaching
GK: Maybe this is rationalization, but
forecast is that they will achieve
a venture capitalist with a pitch that starts
Twitter is not a social diversion for me. It
$100 million in sales in year three, so
off, “We don’t care about making money...”
is core to my business. I am in the business
Twitter is the best marketing tool since television, and unlike television, you don’t need to spend millions of dollars to buy exposure.
GK: Ten books a year would be published if not for “re-discovery.” Actually, that’s an exaggeration--it would be five. If my advice is “too obvious,” why are many companies doing so many silly things? As your magazine shows, there’s knowing the obvious and
of, for example, promoting Alltop right
pages. Reality Check is 200 ideas stretched
now. Twitter enables me to do that, and
to two pages. People shouldn’t read it once,
the more people who follow me on Twitter,
put it down, and never come back to it. It’s
MS: OK, your new book is out. You’re
the better I can promote Alltop.
a reference that you come back to over and
a bestselling author, a successful
over as you encounter new challenges.
entrepreneur, a family man with four
For many people, Twitter is a way to make
doing the obvious. The two are different.
kids, and an Apple legend. So what’s on
friends, entertain oneself, and have fun. For
your schedule now? What inspires you
me, Twitter is a weapon. In this sense, Tiger
For example, there’s a chapter that explains
Woods approaches golf differently than the
how to look good on a panel if you’re ever on
to continue and grow, or as we GTD people
weekend duffer. For him, it’s a business—
a panel. You might not need this information
would ask: “What’s your Next Action?”
he probably enjoys golf, but it is a business.
right away, but someday you may be on
I enjoy Twitter, but it’s a business.
a panel at a conference. Similarly, you may
my “digital magazine rack,” successful.
GK: My next action is to make Alltop,
not be pitching venture capitalists right now,
The goal is worldwide domination of RSS.
MS: Speaking of getting things done, did
but someday if you do, you need to read the
The meaning I want to make with Alltop
you read the GTD book by David Allen?
10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint that’s in the book.
is to enable people to find more relevant
Do you apply any of the GTD principles in your life? Or do you have your own way of getting things done? GK: I haven’t! I need to get it because I need to get more done. The secret to my success is
As your magazine shows, there’s knowing the obvious and doing the obvious. The two are different.
that I am willing--I even enjoy--grinding it out. I used to think that the key to success was the
MS: I’ve read rave reviews about the
information in an easier way than using
brilliance of the idea and implementation was
book. Seth Godin tells us to buy two
a search engine.
easy. Now I think that ideas are easy, and the
(or even more) copies of it. But there
key to success is implementation.
have also been critics saying the advice
a timesaver. We take 450 topics and
you’re giving is “too obvious”. I actually
aggregate display the five most recent
MS: Your new book is out: Reality Check.
believe very much in re-discovering the
stories from the best sites and blogs. For
The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting,
obvious, that’s what Productive Magazine
example, we have http://gtd.alltop.com/
Outmanaging and Outmarketing Your
is all about--to re-discover the obvious
and http://lifehacks.alltop.com/when you
Competition. How is it different from The
productivity principles and give you
can read the best selection of GTD and
Art of the Start? What’s the main purpose
a kick to apply these. What’s your take
lifehacks content in a glance. Talk about
of the book? What’s the main message?
getting things done!
GTD fans love Alltop because it is such
GK: The purpose of Reality Check is to provide a reference book for starting and operating a business. It is the superset
About Guy Kawasaki
of all my writing, blogging, and speaking. There isn’t a single message in the sense of
Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology
most business books--think of it as more
Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and a columnist for
a Chicago Manual of Style for business.
Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books including
MS: I must say this new book is quite thick.
Reality Check and The Art of the Start. He’s also an Internet
I’ve heard you say it’s twice as much value
celebrity with close to 60K followers in Twitter where he’s
as The Art of the Start. Did you want it to be
promoting Alltop – an “online magazine rack” of popular topics. Both Guy Kawasaki
your ultimate piece-of-advice book?
and Michael Sliwinski will meet in person for the first time this March, where they have
GK: Yes, to use another book analogy, it is
been invited by David Allen to be panelists at the first GTD Summit in San Francisco.
to me what Management was to Peter Drucker-
Visit Guy Kawasaki’s home page www.guykawasaki.com
-not that I’m saying I’m a Peter Drucker! Many
Visit Guy’s Blog “How to Change the World”
business books are one idea stretched to 200
Buy Guy’s newest book Reality Check on Amazon
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
How to Set Goals That Lead to Success One of the most important things we can do in pursuit of success is set clear, explicit goals about what we want to accomplish. Most of us have a bunch of vague goals, like “lose weight” or “write a novel”. We want “someday” to do x, y, and z, but without clear goals, we don’t seem to make any progress. We chug along, picking at our big life projects now and again, rarely coming any closer to finishing, and we feel horrible about ourselves. If you don’t set strong goals, you won’t achieve them. Dustin M. Wax
here are a lot of reasons people
One reason goal-setting is so daunting
don’t set clear goals. Most of them
is because we don’t know how to set
boil down to a fear of commitment
good goals. We set vague, unspecified,
– and of letting yourself down when
open-ended goals – goals we hope to get
you fail to live up to that commitment. Saying
around to “someday”, “eventually”, “when
“I’m going to write a novel” sets you up for
inspiration strikes”, “when I have more
possible failure. What if you don’t have any
time”. These words and phrases need to be
A – Achievable – Set realistic goals
ideas? What if some life crisis happens and you
banished from your goal-setting vocabulary.
that you’re prepared to pursue. Losing
can’t finish? What if a better idea comes along?
What you need are crisp, clear, specific goals.
20 pounds this year is reasonable. 50 pounds is pushing it. 200 pounds in a year
is almost impossible – and when you fail
of talking ourselves out of committing
The idea of the SMART goal was conceived
to meet it, you’ll feel bad about yourself.
to achievement. So we avoid the
by a business psychologist named George
R – Relevant – Set goals that matter
commitment. We keep our options open.
Doran. SMART is an acronym, standing for
to you, that will have a positive effect in
goals that are:
And on and on. We have a million ways
As anyone who’s ever been in a romantic relationship without commitment knows, this is a recipe for disaster. In fact, it’s a pretty good analogy, because your
• Specific, • Measurable, • Achievable, • Relevant, and • Time-bound.
T – Time-bound – Give yourself a deadline to create a sense of urgency and keep you focused on the task at hand. Ex: “Follow my doctor’s diet and exercise three times a week to lose 10 pounds by March 31st.”
relationship with your goals is a lot like your relationship with your significant other. You
Let’s look at these elements one by one.
have to work at it every day, and nurture it, and accept its quirks and even failures. And
S – Specific – Set goals with specific
if you lack real commitment, sooner or later,
outcomes. Avoid loose language. Ex: “Lose
one or the other of you will flake out.
10 pounds.” M – Measurable – Set concrete goals
A bad goal – but the kind we are most comfortable committing to – is something like “Spend more time with family.” That’s a dumb goal – more time than what? How will you know if you’re
SMART goals are easier to achieve
that you can keep track of – and keep track
spending more time with your family?
than dumb ones
How much more? When should you
Whatever you decide to use to track your goals, make sure you keep on top of it.
world, then doing the legwork becomes incredibly relevant. Make sure you have some way of © Volodymyr Vasylkiv - Fotolia.com
keeping track of your goals. For recurring goals like “write 1000 words a day” or “exercise 15 minutes every morning”, I like the idea of keeping a white board handy and recording daily accomplishments as you finish. But a notebook, diary, computer file, or anything else will work fine. Maybe you can start a “goal diary” – a nicelooking notebook that you can write goals in, one per page, and track progress in as needed. Whatever you decide to use to track your goals, make sure you keep on top of it. Accountability, even just to yourself, is key – both so you can feel good about your project (especially in the middle of a big project that seems like it will never end) and so you can identify hangups and other problems that are keeping you from accomplishing your goals. If you’re like me, you have big things in spend more time with your family – tomorrow? next week? someday? What should you be doing with them, and how often? A SMART goal would be. “Get involved
• Write 1000 words every weekday until finished.
making SMART goals that put you on track
• Complete first three chapters by April That might not be granular enough – maybe you’re not prepared to even write
practices every week from now until the
the outline (it’s not achievable). Maybe you
end of the season” or “Spend an hour
every day reading to the kids” or just
• Check out 3 books on how to write
“Take my partner out this Friday night
a novel and read them by February 10th.
for some alone time.” You know when
• Brainstorm character names by February
your progress – just write it down in your calendar and do it, or put a mark on the
for success from the beginning!
with Jimmy’s soccer team and attend two
to start – “now” – and you can easily track
mind for 2009. Set out on the right foot by
About Dustin Wax Dustin M. Wax is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas,
• Join a writing group and attend every month.
NV. He is the editor of Stepcase Lifehack
calendar every time you read to the kids.
(Lifehack.org) and Of course, I’ve taken for granted
Here’s another dumb goal: “write
that spending time with your family or
several other websites. When he’s not
a novel”. It’s too big, too unspecific – it
writing a novel are relevant to you, and
writing, he teaches anthropology and
doesn’t suggest any action. Every day,
if you've chosen them as goals, they
gender studies to university students. He
you’ll say to yourself, “Oh, right. I really
probably are. But you always have to think
is the author of “Don’t Be Stupid: A Guide
oughtta write that novel!” and then go
about whether a goal is relevant, and
to Learning, Studying, and Succeeding at
back to surfing the Internet, watching TV,
how it’s relevant, or you won’t have the
or playing Wii.
necessary motivation to complete the goal. It’s boring researching competitor’s books
Visit Stepcase Lifehack
Instead, set a series of SMART goals:
in order to write a book proposal – but
Visit The Writer’s Technology Companion
• Write an outline by February 1st.
if you’re burning to tell your story to the
Buy “Don’t Be Stupid”
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
The Single Secret to Making 2009 Your Best Year Ever I realized that there’s just one tip that’s needed to make 2009 your best year ever. And it’s not a tip you’ll read in most personal development, productivity or self-help blogs or books. That’s because if you implemented this one tip, you wouldn’t really need any others. It would put all of us out of business. So, because I enjoy writing personal development posts and books for you guys, I’m counting on you to NOT actually implement this, and to keep needing other tips I give you in the future.
idding of course! Go ahead,
wait to buy a nicer car. Got the car, then
Life is a Journey – Enjoy It!
put me and all the rest of ‘em
I couldn’t wait to buy a house.
So how do you go for goals and still
out of business. I’d rather have you happy and successful, and
have happiness right here, right now? By When I bought the house, I couldn’t wait
look for another job, knowing that I did
to … get out of debt. I could go on for
quite awhile, but you get the point. None
So what’s that single secret, the one thing
of my desires ever produced happiness,
remembering that the important thing isn’t the destination… it’s the journey! Remember that, always: the journey is
that will not only make 2009 your best
because I was stuck in the mindset of
the most important thing. Not the goal.
year ever, but put personal development
wanting more. When I got what I wanted,
Not the ending point.
and self-help bloggers and authors out of
I wanted something else. My happiness
business? Are you sure you’re ready to hear
was always on hold, because I was waiting
it? OK, you’re ready.:) Here goes:
to reach a goal. Waiting for happiness.
Stop waiting for happiness. Happiness
On Goals and Desires
much more of your life than actually being
is right here, right now.
It’s good to have goals. I have them – it’s
at the goal. If you’re only happy when
Sounds too simple, but if you haven’t
a part of living and working. But how much
you’re at the destination, you’ll be unhappy
realized this, and put it into action, it can
are you investing in your goals? How much
most of the time.
have an amazing effect on your life. Today.
of your happiness is based on your goals?
Think about it: if you are only happy once you reach a goal, what about all the time you spend getting to the goal? That’s
What’s more, if you are stuck in that It’s also natural to have desires, but if
My Life of Waiting
your life is a series of desires, one after the
you won’t actually be happy – you’ll be
When I was young, I couldn’t wait
other, and everything in you is in pursuit of
looking toward your next destination.
to become an adult. Oh, the freedom!
those desires, you will always be striving
Instead, remember: Stop waiting for
Becoming an adult would bring me
for happiness, waiting for it. Instead,
happiness. Happiness is right here, right now.
happiness. I couldn’t wait.
remember: Stop waiting for happiness. Happiness is right here, right now.
When I became an adult, I couldn’t wait to get a good job. That would surely bring
mindset, when you reach your destination,
How do you enjoy the journey? By appreciating life in its fullness, its
Feel free to pursue goals, and desires …
wonderfulness. By not looking so much
happiness. I couldn’t wait. When I got
but don’t make your happiness dependent
toward the future, but focusing on the present
a good job, I couldn’t wait to get a raise.
on them. Don’t think of happiness as
moment, right here, right now. By looking
When I got a raise, I couldn’t wait to get
something you’ll have once X happens
around you, and realizing that everything you
married. When I got married, I couldn’t
(whatever X is right now for you).
need for happiness is already here!
© Tatiana - Fotolia.com
magazine projects, one after the other? Well, that’s good, but realize that your to-do list will never ever be completed, nor will your project list. They’re never ending, and in fact they’re supposed to be that way. So you’ll never reach a destination here – all you have is the journey! Learn to enjoy your work – every minute of it – and productivity will come naturally.
• Learning a new skill. Whether you want to learn French, or to play the trombone, or to master Jeet Kune Do, will you only be happy once you’ve learned the skill? No! Learn to love the learning process! It’s an exploration not only of new territory, but of yourself. It’s wonderful.
• Simplifying. Do you want to get rid of clutter? Will you be happy only when
When I got what I wanted, I wanted something else. My happiness was always on hold, because I was waiting to reach a goal.
you’ve gotten rid of all excess things? No! Enjoy the process of decluttering – it’s one of my favorite pasttimes!:) Imagine that I’m there next to you, enjoining you to “TOSS IT!” with a wildly cheerful voice.
• Writing a book. Do you want to write the Great American Novel? Don’t wait
Everything You Need for Happiness
All you need is the present moment: spend
until you’re done to enjoy the book…
What do you need to be happy? Do you
time with a loved one, talk with a friend,
love each moment you can spend
need a fancy car and a mansion and
watch a funny movie, go swimming in
writing. It’s a miracle.
millions of dollars? If you could have every
refreshing water, smell fresh baked bread, go
single desire granted to you right now,
for a walk or a run, curl up with a good book,
What are you waiting for before you
would you be happy then?
cuddle on a rainy day, give and receive a hug.
become happy? Can you find happiness right now, in this moment?
Or can you be happy now, with what you have?
It’s true – this is the only thing you need to know: Stop waiting for happiness. Happiness is right here, right now.
Can you look at the gorgeous sky, and
About Leo Babauta
realize what a miracle it is? Can you look
But… What About My Goals?
at a sunset, a forest, a flower, a child, and
Should you give up your goals for 2009,
Leo Babauta lives in
realize the miracle of each of these things?
now that you’ve decided to be happy now?
Guam and is married
You probably can, if you take the time
Nah. Go ahead and pursue those goals, but
with six kids. He’s a
to look at them fully.
remember to enjoy the journey. Consider:
writer and a runner
• Losing weight. Will you only be happy
and a vegetarian and
after you’ve lost weight and are slim
he loves writing Zen
are a miracle, and that they allow you to see
and trim? When you have the perfect
Habits - his blog that
each of these other miracles. If you have your
body? Screw that! Make it an enjoyable
in a short year became one of the top
eyes, you have all you need for happiness.
journey – exercise can be a lot of fun!
blogs on the Internet with 60K+ readers
What if you are blind? Can you taste
Eating clean, healthy food can also be
subscribed and counting. He’s recently
chocolate, or strawberries, or cinnamon, or
incredible, once you learn to enjoy it!
a published author of a bestselling book
tears, and realize what a miracle those things
Enjoy the journey to health and the
„Power of Less”
are? Can you hear Mozart, or John Lennon, or
great body will only be a side benefit.
And then you might realize that your eyes
Jack Johnson, and have your soul fill up with
• Getting productive. Do you have a desire
Visit Leo’s Blog „Zen Habits”
happiness? Then you already have all you
to crank through your to-do list, stop
Buy Leo’s book „Power of Less” from
need for happiness.
procrastinating, and knock down your
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week Almost everyone I know is working more time than they would like. That’s why a book like The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss has been such a big bestseller. This is a great book, but the promise is a little over the top. I don’t know of anyone, including Tim Ferriss, who really only works four hours. Michael Hyatt
ut what if you could shave ten
over and over again? Guess what? The
Stop attending low-impact meetings.
hours off your work week? In
information hasn’t changed. That’s right.
If there’s one thing we can probably all
my opinion, that is much more
You are procrastinating.
agree on, it’s that we go to too many
do-able. Virtually anyone, with
a little thought and effort can do it. Here’s how:
meetings. Either the meeting organizer I have a personal rule: I will only read each message once then take the appropriate action: do, delegate, defer, file
Limit the time you spend online.
or delete it.
In my experience, the Web is most people’s #1 time suck. Yes, I know it
Follow the two-minute rule.
is a wonderful tool for research, blah,
My to-do list is very short. It never gets
blah, blah. But I often catch myself and
longer than about thirty items. This is
my family members mindlessly surfing
because I do everything I can immediately.
from one page to another with no clear
If I need to make a phone call, rather than
objective in mind. Before you know it, you
entering it on my to-do list, I just make
can eat up several hours a day. The key is
to put a fence around this activity and limit your time online. Set a timer for yourself if you have to.
If I can complete the action in less than two minutes, I just go ahead and do it. Why wait? You will be amazed at how
This is true for Web surfing and it is also true for email. Unless you are in
much this “bias toward action” will reduce your workload.
a customer service position where you have to be “always-on,” you should check
Conversely, when you don’t do it
email no more than two or three times
promptly, you end up generating even
more work for yourself and others. The longer a project sits, the longer it takes
Touch email messages once and only
to overcome inertia and get it moving
again. The key is to define the very next
Okay, let’s be honest. How many times
action and do it. You don’t have to complete
do you read the same email message
the whole project, just the next action.
If I can complete the action in less than two minutes, I just go ahead and do it. Why wait?
secret: most books are not worth finishing. Most books could be cut in half and you wouldn’t miss a thing. The key is to read as long as you are interested and then stop. There are too many great books to read
isn’t prepared, the meeting objective
else will. You can’t spend all your time
without getting bogged down in the
isn’t defined, or you can’t really affect the
in meetings and still get your work
merely good ones.
outcome one way or the other.
Engage in a weekly review and Every meeting should have a written
Instead, you need to make appointments
objective and a written agenda. If you
with yourself. Yes, go ahead and actually
Part of the reason our lives get out of
don’t have these two minimal items, how
put them on your calendar. Then, when
control is because we don’t plan. Once
do you know when the meeting is over?
someone asks for a meeting, you can
a week, you have to come up for air. Or –
Could this also explain why meetings seem
legitimately say, “No, I’m sorry, that won’t
to change the metaphor – you have to take
to drag on and on until everyone is worn
work. I already have a commitment.” And
the plane up to 30,000 feet, so you can see
you do—to yourself!
the big picture.
If the content of the meeting is
Cultivate the habit of non-finishing.
I generally do this on Sunday evening.
irrelevant to you and your job or if you
Not every project you start is worth
I review my notes from the previous week
don’t feel that you really add that much
finishing. Sometimes we get into it and
and look ahead to my calendar.
to the discussion, ask to be excused.
realize, “This is a waste of time.” Fine, then give yourself permission to quit.
You may not be able to reduce your
Schedule time to get your work done. This is crucial. As the saying goes,
workweek to four hours—and honestly, I do this all the time with reading. It’s
who would want to?—but you can
“nature abhors a vacuum.” If you don’t
why I am able to read so many articles
certainly scale it down to a manageable
take control of your calendar, someone
and books. Here’s publishing’s dirty little
level by cutting out the wasted motion and developing a few good habits.
About Michael Hyatt Michael Hyatt is the President and CEO of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. Michael has written four books, one of which landed on the New York Times bestseller list. Hyatt serves as Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). He has been married to his wife, Gail, for twenty-eight years. They have five daughters and two grand daughters and live outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Visit Michael’s Blog MichaelHyatt.com © Alex - Fotolia.com
Visit Thomas Nelson web site
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
Why You Shouldn’t Do New Year’s Resolutions
It’s something of a tradition at this time of year that everyone writes advice about New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it be on TV, in magazines or on blogs (ahem…), they all seem happy to dish out ill thought advice left, right and center. However I am going to buck this trend and provide a damning indictment of the New Year’s Resolution. James Mallinson
uch of the tips offered are
resolutions, which is often another
generalized and recycled
element of the typical new year’s list. How
junk that end up offering
do you focus your time on a handful (or
nothing practical for the
more) of habits? I can guarantee you that
readers. Instead they build up the clean
as soon as you slip up on one of them,
sheet nature of a new year and leave
it will be like a domino effect and bring
people with a naive optimism about what
down the progress on every other habit.
they can achieve. The result? Badly thought
You need to keep the list small and keep
out and totally unrealistic resolutions that
are destined to fail. Remember the rule of starting small.
However, perhaps the biggest problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they
Badly thought out and totally unrealistic resolutions that are destined to fail. Another major problem I have with
are such a big deal, partly because of the way they are built up in the press, partly because they cover an entire year and partly because the new year is regarded as a fresh start for everyone. This is actually all really bad as it hypes the process up in your head to the point where one slip-up
the next twelve months, but using it as the
typically brings the whole process down.
moment to start attempting radical habit
“It’s such a big deal, what will I do if I fall
building with the wishy washy New Year’s
off the wagon one day? That’s my progress
Resolution approach is not wise.
New Year’s Resolutions is that too many
for the rest of the year ruined!” It breaks
people seem to have this view that a new
one of the other basic rules of working on
year is the only time to think about ways
your habits. You should use a suitably short
of improving their lives. Because they
timescale, such as a week or even a day
also tend to have minimal knowledge
and certainly not think about your progress
about the process of habit breaking and
building, it’s not unusual for all their
“It’s such a big deal, what will I do if I fall off the wagon one day? That’s my progress for the rest of the year ruined!”
About James Mallinson James Mallinson comes from the UK and is an aspiring author. He started Organize
efforts to fall apart within the first month.
So you decide not to do New Year’s
That leaves another eleven months before
Resolutions for 2009, but what do you
dabbling in productivity, and wanted to
they decide to start the process all over
do instead? A new year is definitely a great
share his tips and experience.
again. It’s hardly constructive, especially
chance to review your progress and determine
if you have quite a large selection of
what sort of direction you want to go in over
IT nearly two years ago after he began
Visit James’s blog – Organize-IT
Say “No” to make “Yes” sound better Are you a “pleaser”? Do you habitually give in to other people because you just can’t stand the thought of upsetting them? Do you put your needs to one side because you get a buzz from someone else’s happiness, only to find that he or she is not a bit grateful? If so, you are a classic „people pleaser,” and you are, in all probability, not getting what you want out of life. It’s time to shift the focus from others to yourself, and stop being a martyr. Kris Rowlands
’m quite sure that there is more than
Setting our own goals and being
People don’t like to hear the word „no”,
one person reading this that can
organized enough to accomplish them
but when coupled with the explanation
answer „yes” to that question. But
is a very important part to the humans’
of why you are saying „no”, you can
I have a question back at you:
psyche. The psyche is geared to feeling
inform them that you would not be able
good about itself when you are able
to invest the time it would take to see the
How do you ever Get Things Done?
to accomplish tasks for yourself. Now
task to fruition and be able to do it with
Saying “yes” is an affliction that the even
you might be thinking “How the heck am
the best of us have. A good deal of the
I going to get anything done for myself?
time, it’s a great deal easier to say “yes”
I have so many things to do for other
when we are asked for something rather
people…..”. There is a way….and it may
or project, people will realize that
than to say “no”. But how can you be
take you some time to learn it, but learn it
they will get your best quality work
personally productive if you are always
you must. You have to say
that you can offer, and that it is indeed
But when you do say „yes” to a task
doing for others? The simple answer is that you can’t.
A good deal of the time, it’s a great deal easier to say “yes” when we are asked for something rather than to say “no”.
an exception point that you have said
Saying „no” is a key component of being able to be organized and Get Things Done.
„yes” to their request. When you learn to say „no”, people will begin to value what you do for them and value when you say „yes”.
About Kris Rowlands
NO. Saying no is a key component of being able
Kris, being the
to be organized and Get Things Done. You
child of a hoarder,
have to be able to use this word in order
has grown up her
to fulfill your own agenda and also in order
entire life organizing
to be able to feel good about yourself. When
things around her: it
you say “no” to people, and you have the
is as natural to her
time, list for them a few reasons why you are
as breathing. With
track, you must have time to be able
saying „no”. Such as, “I would love to be able
over twenty-five years experience, she is
to complete the tasks and goals that you
to take care of that for you, but due to tasks
honored to offer you her services, in this
have set out for yourself. Not only for the
A, B, and C, I would not be able to do this
time of need for busy professionals and
obvious reason of being organized, but
for you in a timely and efficient manner. My
entrepreneurs. She’s running a productivity
for the unobvious reason: you cannot feel
other commitments have my plate full at
blog „Fresh Focus”.
productive and organized if you aren’t
the moment. Might I suggest that you speak
with X in order to complete your task?”
In order to keep your own life on
Visit Kris’s blog „Fresh Focus”
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
What’s Wrong With New Year’s Resolutions? The timeless classics for the New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or improve your appearance. This is normally an automatic next action after a festive season of over indulgence! Eight pounds is the average weight gain in the UK over the festive period, and I can talk first hand of people who love nothing more than to drink and be merry over Christmas and the New Year. Andrew Mason
ost of these people will
and are often broken fairly shortly after
task, usually involving a major change
have at some time set
they are set“.
in the way your life is run. I still love the
a New Year’s resolution. I know that for years I did.
Most of the time, the resolutions were
resolutions? Well, I am a goal setter and avid
losing weight quote from Billy Connolly, which is to “Eat less and move more”! Any major goal in your life is going
pretty much the same every year, and it
fan of the Getting Things Done
to need the support of your family and
seemed like the correct thing to do, to let
methodology from David Allen. As well
friends. Personally, I think that most
people know that you were going to make
as this, I subscribe to the good stuff from
people are ridiculed with their New Year’s
an effort in the New Year.
motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar and
resolutions, because virtually nobody
Tony Robbins. I strongly believe in the
keeps them. When you set and break these
power of decisions.
resolutions, people lose faith in what you
I live and breathe goals, next actions, and projects, yet I have not set a New Year’s resolution for years! Keep reading
When I make a decision, I follow this
are saying and do not offer you the support
to find out why. I kind of disagree with the
up by action! Too many of us do not
you need. I can not think of a worse time
idea behind New Year’s resolutions, and
understand the importance of making
of the year to announce to the world
would like to share my thoughts into why
a decision. A New Year’s resolution is
that you will shed 70 lbs., or run a half
I think they are flawed, and how they can
a perfect example of procrastination,
marathon. Expect to get a tongue in cheek
that disease that we all suffer from time
reaction from the people you tell.
January the 1st occurs once each year, and this is normally brought with a swollen
to time, and some, a lot more than others. What we are saying with
In summary, if you want to change your life, don’t wait. Make a decision, and act
head from too much alcohol and the first
a New Year’s’ resolution is that you want
now. After all, there is no time like the
line from Rabbie Burns’ Auld Lang Syne.
to do something, but you will postpone
How many of us have made New Year’s
it a few weeks until New Year’s Day. For
example, if your resolution was the timeless
Let’s take a snippet from Wikipedia
classic “I want to lose weight”, you would
to see what a New Years Resolution is
gorge yourself over the festive period,
happy in the knowledge that it is OK as you
About Andrew Mason
are going to lose weight in the New Year. If
Andrew set up DidIGetThingsDone.com
a commitment that an individual makes
you want to lose weight, make a decision,
in January 2007 as a way for him to share
to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle
take action, and lose the weight. Don’t put
what he knows about the ever changing
change that is generally interpreted as
it off for a few weeks due to some time
topics of productivity, motivation, and self
advantageous. The name comes from the
constraints. Setting out on any major goal
development. He started the blog at the
fact that these commitments normally go
planning such as this is destined to fail, and
same time as he started with the Getting
into effect on New Year’s Day and remain
probably why so many do.
Things Done book from David Allen.
A New Year’s Resolution is
until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set. Hmm, even the Wikipedia entry points out that “many resolutions go unachieved
So, what is the problem with New Year’s
I firmly believe in what I call All Year Resolutions, also known as goals. It is very true that you cannot hit
A lot of his early posts are based upon his interpretation of the book and how he implemented his own version of the GTD
a target that you do not have. However,
action must be taken in order to realize
Visit Andrew’s blog „Did I Get Things
your goals. Losing weight is a mammoth
Simply Get it Done on the Move!
Visit Nozbe.com to sign up today!
Making it all work – GTD with Mindmapping Michael Deutch
© Marek - Fotolia.com
Gain Control. Are you looking for better ways to ‘Get Things Done’ (GTD)? Bestselling author and MindManager user David Allen explores this topic in his new book, Making It All Work.
efore my introduction to GTD,
I was working on, both personally and
I thought I had most things in
To be in control of my life, I needed
professionally. I used MindManager
my life under control. What
a trusted system to capture everything
to perform a ‘mind-sweep’, which is
I didn’t realize was just how
going on within it. I started to use
a process of capturing everything I’d been
much energy I was using to keep my
a combination of MindManager and
thinking about – all my unfinished projects,
unfinished commitments top of mind.
Outlook to capture everything, big and
unanswered emails, unfulfilled dreams. It
I was suffering from ‘Information Overload’
small, so I wouldn’t have to remember
was a great relief to get everything out of
and apparently, I wasn’t alone. The
anything. Ultimately, this freed up my mind
my head and into one place that I could
research firm Basex estimates that this
so I could be more present with everything
refer back to. Next, I experimented with
problem costs the U.S. economy over $900 billion per year. And the problem doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. I was being bombarded with information from all directions at an ever increasing pace… e-mail, junk mail, text messages, phone calls, RSS feeds and meetings. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that way. Determined to combat this issue and increase my productivity, comprehension, concentration, innovation, and maybe most importantly peace of mind, I incorporated GTD principles into my workflow to regain control of my life. The results? Fantastic. Here are some tips and tricks that I picked up as I started to fine-tune and apply MindManager and GTD to my work and life.
magazine my commute for items that didn’t require internet access, like phone calls or reviewing emails and research. This let me leave work and be more focused, with fewer interruptions. Organizing by context allowed me to pick the activity that best suited my present circumstances.
Reflect: Here’s an area that I’m still working on, my daily and weekly reviews. I use another MindManager map to guide me through my review process. Reviews help ensure my system is updated and complete. As a result, I have the ‘big picture’ perspective that guides me when I’m deciding which tasks to tackle from moment to moment.
Engage: Here’s where the ‘rubber hits the road’ and where MindManager really shines. GTD has been a great and flexible methodology that helped me process and decide what MindManager add-ins like Gyro-Q which
tasks to do. MindManager improved
When items were not actionable,
allowed me to quickly add ideas & tasks
I started to delete them (this was tough
how I thought through and completed
into a map, even when MindManager was
for me as I’m a bit of a digital packrat),
each task. They’re perfect complements.
closed. This minimized the impact of the
file them as reference material or create
Whether I’m planning a project, running
constant interruptions in my life. With
tasks that I categorized as something that
a meeting, managing information, or
everything now in one place, I started
I might like to tackle in the future. By
brainstorming ideas for new products
to clarify what everything that I captured
defining the required actions and expected
or strategies, I use MindManager maps
really means to me.
outcomes for all my tasks, I was able to be
to capture and organize all my thoughts,
more strategic about how to use my time
ideas and information into coherent
strategies and plans. I see the big
picture, uncover hidden relationships and
I was amazed at how much information I was retaining in my mind, trying to ‘hold’
everything together. Deadlines, promises,
Organization is both fun and dangerous
deliverables. I was involved in a lot of
for me. I love to be organized but need
different activities at work and it was hard
to be careful not to spend more time
to keep track of everything consistently or
organizing than doing actual work.
know at any point in time what I needed
I began to use Microsoft Outlook as the
to do to move all my projects forward.
single place where I managed all tasks.
Now, I’m still engaged in a wide variety
If I’ve captured a task or something I’m
of activities, but I also know what needs
waiting for in a meeting map, I added it
to happen to move items from an inbox
to Outlook. Emails with actions for me
writer and a faithful
to my desired outcome. That’s a huge
quickly became tasks by either dragging
follower of Getting
change in how I process everything.
them into the task section or using the
Things Done. He
I keep the following trigger questions
GTD Outlook add-in. Task categorization
regularly writes on
in a map that helps me quickly process
was essential to simplify and streamline
the official Mindmanager’s blog.
the constant flow of information that
the processing of tasks. I reviewed my task
list by category and worked through the
Download all of the mindmaps from this
list based on my location, my access to the
article by visiting this post online.
Internet, how much time and energy I had.
Visit Mindjet’s web site to learn more
And, by priority. For instance, I leveraged
Is this actionable? What do I hope to achieve? What do I need to do next?
accomplish more, with less effort.
About Michael Deutch
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
Productivity For Groups – Because You’re Not Really In Control
Quick quiz. If you take a group of people who are individually productive, do you automatically have a productive group? Some strategies and tactics for improving personal productivity can be applied to groups. However, when you add multiple people to the mix you are guaranteed to have unpredictability and possibly terrible dysfunction. Andrew Yang
here are a great many books
example, you may have some players on
don’t match. For example, parents in
written on leadership and teams
a sports team who want to win the league
a playgroup may want the kids to just
but most of these excellent
championship and others who just want
focus on socializing while others may want
works are focused on corporate
to learn or play for fun. While everyone
religious-based instruction. Better to air
teams. However, many groups operate
is playing the same sport, they may have
out these differences early than find out
outside of work such as sports teams,
wildly differing goals, and expectations.
later. Be careful of trying to be all things
hobby groups, political action groups, faith
The best thing to do is to spend time with
to all people. Many goals take a significant
groups, playgroups, support groups, even
each member (or as many as practically
amount of commitment and resources and
families. Different than corporate teams,
possible), ask open-ended questions and
to try to make everybody happy often ends
these groups don’t have an authoritative
up making nobody happy. Understand your
boss structure and many groups have no say in who joins. Despite these limitations, these teams can be highly productive.
fellow members’ goals and collectively Craft, communicate and agree on a good people individually want, set up goals that
Put together a plan
Understand the motivations
the group can largely agree on. You may be
Once the goals are established, put
Don’t assume you know what everyone
surprised on how difficult this can be. Hard
together a plan to accomplish the
wants. Why are members participating
but good choices have to be made.
goal. Brainstorm with the group
and what do they hope to get out of it. Good alignment with your members improves motivation and participation. For
agree on a good set of clear, specific goals.
set of goals – once you understand what
to find the right projects and activities You may need to do a reset for some members whose individual goals
to undertake. The best ideas rarely come from one individual. Solicit opinions from
Many goals take a significant amount of commitment and resources and to try to make everybody happy often ends up making nobody happy. • How do people interact with each
Keep everyone on the same page
other? How should disagreements be
– groups can quickly dissolve from lack
dealt with? How do you move forward
of activity and communication. When
after a divisive decision was made?
it comes to people’s increasingly busy
• How are meetings
schedules, group activities can take a back
conducted? Whole books have been
seat to that urgent thing that regularly
written about how to conduct effective
pops up. Setting up a group web page
meetings. Preparation, meeting goals,
and group email is a great way to help
a few ground rules and rigorous “next
provide indirect cohesion across time and
steps” can go a long way to making
space. Communicate early and often. Set
meetings more productive.
up a central website, shared calendar,
• How are decisions made? Some groups
automated reminders and group email
decide by majority rule. While others
to help provide needed communication
have a designated decision-maker.
infrastructure for the group for direct and
Determining your decision-making
indirect communication. Complement
process will reduce conflict down the
the real-life interactions with virtual
road and also prevent the dreaded
“analysis paralysis.” Devote time in establishing how your
Putting it all together.
group engages with each other and makes
Putting together a group of people
decisions. Then lead by example. Repeat.
always makes things interesting. While a group is composed of a collection
© cornelius - Fotolia.com
Social engineering for results
of individuals with specific goals,
The great thing about groups is that they
motivations and skills, the collective
can be much greater than the sum of its
can have its own goals, motivations and
parts. Mixing personalities, experience, skills
skills too. With a little proper guidance,
other similar groups. Some savvy searching
and operating styles unleash creativity and
a well functioning group can be a thing
on the Web should uncover plenty of best
efficiency. Of course monitor these groups
of beauty that can accomplish things that
practices and ideas that you can borrow for
closely. Sometimes there’s not enough
no individual can.
common ground to make the group operate effectively. When creating subteams, think
Break long-term projects into
about the right mix of individuals. A team of
manageable chunks. Make each chunk have
stars may not be better than a balanced team
an owner and a deliverable and monitor
whose members complement each other well.
About Andrew Yang Andrew Yang is COO at Qlubb, a leading
their progress. Ask often for status and whether there is anything that might block
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
provider of social collaboration solutions
progress. Putting together a good plan
Nothing makes members feel more
for real-life groups. Andrew has served in
and schedule of activities will help make
involved in the group than when they take
various executive roles at several Silicon
the group excited and engaged. Monitor
ownership. When leaders delegate, they
Valley firms and was a management
not only reduce their workload, but also
consultant in previous life. Andrew has
get much needed “buy-in” from people who
been an active participant, leader and
Establish rules of engagement
are involved in the process. Let the “critic”
provider of solutions for many non-work
Some people are naturally process-heavy
own the problem – often their passion will
groups and corporate teams.
and others completely lack process. Find
get the best results. Where possible, get
a happy medium. Create your own “rules
volunteers and let them take responsibility
Visit Qlubb’s blog
for important things that make a difference.
Visit Qlubb’s web site
Sponsored by www.Nozbe.com
Simply Get Things Done Course – from 0 to Productivity in 10 simple steps A guide to a more productive, focused and accomplished life... or how to make it through the day with a smile on your face and an empty to-do list. Michael Sliwinski
tep 0 – Introduction: Who is this
to be more productive. I studied many
different books, tried out many to-
things done and it’s not about Nozbe
do lists and other various approaches
– my Getting Things Done web-based
to personal productivity and got so-
application. While I will sometimes refer
who wants to live a more productive and
so results... until I stumbled upon the
to Nozbe throughout this course – you can
happier life. Anyone. You can be a student,
great book by David Allen: „Getting
use the ideas from this course by mixing
an employee at a small or big company,
Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free
other applications, paper notes, 3x5 cards,
a junior or senior manager, an executive...
etc... whatever works for you.
This course is for anyone
This course is about learning to get
anyone who just wants to get more done. And most of all – you don’t have to know
The book changed my life forever.
the „Getting Things Done” principles or what „GTD” (abbreviation for Getting Things Done) actually is.
David Allen’s concept of ‘Getting Things
implemented them all in Nozbe... so
Done’ seemed just so easy to actually put
to show what I mean – to illustrate what
into practice and yet made perfect sense...
I’m getting at, I will be referring to Nozbe.
If you want to get more done and be
so I decided to give the system a try. As
It’s just easier like this. I don’t believe
more productive – this course is for you.
I was basically spending most of my day
in theory, I believe in practice. Thus
by the computer, I decided to start coding
I will show you how I put all of the GTD
a simple program that would help me
(„Getting Things Done”) concepts into
implement the GTD (Getting Things Done)
practice using Nozbe. You can later choose
if you wish to use Nozbe to help you get
Before we start getting things done... Let me introduce myself. My name is Michael Sliwinski and I was born a very
things done. Whatever works for you is Right from the start I decided this
always a good choice.
disorganized person. I actually don’t know
would be a web-based program. This
if I was born like this or if I just picked up
created room for future collaboration
bad habits... but even though I’ve always
between other members of my company;
managed to be fairly successful in whatever
and provided the opportunity to learn
I was doing, my lack of self-organization and
‘Getting Things Done’ from one another
structure was killing me and was seriously
while working on various projects.
into practice – you will get things done
holding me back from a greater success.
I actually was thinking big from the start –
and you will be more productive than
it wasn’t about just me anymore – I wanted
ever. Guaranteed. If you want to study
my entire company to achieve ‘Getting
your productivity even more I strongly
encourage you to read David Allen’s book
I decided to approach this problem from a scientific perspective and learn
The ideas presented in this course are ideas that work for me... and I’ve
To master your productivity – you should still read THE book. If you put the ideas from this course
– “Getting Things Done – The Art of
practice. It’s all about how to clear your
Stress-Free Productivity”. You can get your
head, set up your projects and decide what
copy at Amazon or probably your local
your “next actions” are.
Part III – Zero problems – black belt
level of ‘Getting Things Done’
Step 1. Clear your head I will publish next lessons of the course in future issues of the Productive
You’re on your way to becoming a master in productivity when you learn to delegate,
Step 2. Get organized with Projects
Magazine. However you can click on the links now to get to know each step on the
Step 6. Be productive everywhere – on the move, online/offline
work in teams, review your system on Step 3. What is the Next Action?
a regular basis and improve constantly until it all comes naturally, until you find your flow.
Nozbe web site (with a video version).
Part II – Organize and Process – next The course is divided into 3 major parts and 10 steps.
level of ‘Getting Things Done’ mastery More advanced steps and another productivity boost – working in contexts,
Part I – Next Action – the basics of
gathering reference material and most
Getting Things Done
of all – using the system on a daily basis.
The idea is to start improving your
Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow.
Step 9 and 10. Seek guidance and keep now – final tips and tricks
Step 4. Work in Contexts
getting more done and using the Getting Things Done principles in your daily
Step 8. Review your stuff regularly
improving your system and get things done
productivity as soon as possible, so after Part I of the course you should already be
Step 7. Share and Delegate – Synergize
Good luck with ‘Getting Things Done’ in Step 5. Manage your reference material
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