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• 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

Can’t wait.

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


Sponsored by

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


Table of contents

05 08

Productive!Magazine Sponsor: Chief Editor: Michael Sliwinski Technical Editor: Maciej Budzich

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


Sponsored by

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

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 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


Sponsored by


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

Outmanaging and Outmarketing Your

is all about--to re-discover the obvious

and 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?

on that?

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

-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


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

SMART goals.

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

We dally.

goals that are:

your life.

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

of them!

How much more? When should you


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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 -

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

need to:

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.

( and Of course, I’ve taken for granted

contributes to

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”


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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.

Leo Babauta


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

something good.

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

Right now.

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!


Sponsored by

© Tatiana -

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



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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

the call.

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

a day.

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.


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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 © Alex -

Visit Thomas Nelson web site


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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

it compact.

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


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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

doing so.

with X in order to complete your task?”

In order to keep your own life on

Visit Kris’s blog „Fresh Focus”


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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

be improved.

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,

defined as..

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

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


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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!

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Making it all work – GTD with Mindmapping Michael Deutch

© Marek -

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.



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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

and energy.

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.

Michael Deutch

Now, I’m still engaged in a wide variety

If I’ve captured a task or something I’m

is Mindmanager’s

of activities, but I also know what needs

waiting for in a meeting map, I added it

Chief Evangelist,

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

surrounds me.

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

about Mindmanager.

Is this actionable? What do I hope to achieve? What do I need to do next?

accomplish more, with less effort.

About Michael Deutch


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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


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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 -

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.

your group.

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

of engagement”

for important things that make a difference.

Visit Qlubb’s web site


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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

course for?

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

Things Done’.

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


Sponsored by

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

the 2009!


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Productive Magazine #2