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Some Helpful Links

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  • Some Helpful Links

    I came across this site recently and I thought some of his comments were quite interesting. Very GTD, just in a different voice:

  • #2
    Interesting articles, but... are they new or helpful?

    These articles read like some of the classic works
    on time management. Familiar ideas, familiar tone:
    keep a time log, read two articles every morning while shaving,
    et cetera., the 3% who set goals were worth more after so many years
    than the 97% of the class that didn't. The earliest source I know
    for a lot of this is

    Alan Lakein
    How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

    although others may have been earlier with some of it. In particular,
    Charles Hobbes, author of "Time Power", had similar material.
    Hyrum Smith, the founder of Franklin, now Franklin-Covey, was
    an associate of Hobbes. For me, at least, this stuff seems quite derivative.
    Read Lakein if you want more along these lines.

    This guy offers up as an example of the power of these ideas that he finished college in three semesters. As a professor at a private research-oriented unversity in the midwest who has advised hundreds of students, that doesn't impress me at all. In a technical field, you may be able to get through the material and do very well, especially if you are gifted and have had prior exposure. Is the purpose of college for most people to race through, take the necessary courses, and get out? Clarity of mind and sureness of purpose, which I agree is tremendously important, come slowly to most of us. College is helpful to most in this regard.

    I think it is dangerous to attempt to model our behavior on people we perceive as successful and efficient, particulary when they are standing up and saying "Be like me." One of the things I admire about David Allan is that he says "Try this idea. There are lots of ways to implement it. It may work for you."


    • #3

      Thanks for posting the links. I read the articles, and printed several others on this site. Although the themes are familiar, they each offer some new aspect that I hadn't heard before. The concept of saying that I will only work x number of hours a day is a good one. I can easily see how that would motivate me to really focus on what needed to get done. I don't think it ever hurts to hear a different twist on a familiar theme. Remember, you have to hear something 7 times before you really get it.


      • #4
        Maybe it's me, but my eyes skipped right past the productivity articles to start browsing the games listed on the far left of the screen...


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dave
          Maybe it's me, but my eyes skipped right past the productivity articles to start browsing the games listed on the far left of the screen...
          So much for getting things done!

          Seriously, I'm finding it difficult to not end up procrastinating. I've found the time log article most helpful these last few days.



          • #6
            I'm intrigued by the idea of a time log...I have always resisted time logs and journaling as things that would slow me down and require too much unnecessary work. Then I thought maybe I just don't know how to do it. So, I have a couple of remedial questions:

            Are journaling and time logs different? My understanding of journaling is that it's supposed to capture actions and stuff, not time necessarily. Time logs seem more to capture time, and not actions so much. Am I wrong?

            How do you do it? I tried a time log yesterday, and felt like I could never get into a flow because I was always having to note the time when I switched back and forth between activities. I mean, do I really have to make an entry for walking to the fax machine? What do you all do?


            • #7
              Journaling to dump and Journaling to capture

              I've always thought about these as different activities.

              One of the things I've noticed in my own practice of "postive outcome thinking" is that it takes consistent effort to keep my mind focused on what I want to do.

              Looking around a desk with extra stuff "reminding me I need to do something," and even walking into my garden and feeling bombarded with all I "could do" can be frustrating. I've found that regularly dumping all of that stuff rolling around in my mind is an effective way of coming back to the present.

              Sometimes I do a mind sweep, other times, I grab a piece of lined paper and let the pen go. (I've even been known to through that piece of paper away without re-reading it! Just to get it out of my system...)

              I know so much of GTD can be applied to actually getting things done... I remember, too, that it's also great for getting present in the conversation I'm having with my wife, the tomatoes I'm planting, or the run I'm enjoying.


              • #8
                Time Logs

                AMS: I too have had some difficulties differentiating between a journal and a time log.

                IMHO, a journal is something you do at the end of a day, where you collate all the activities you performed and then comment on them (e.g. "How effective was I today?", "How did I feel today?" and the like), whereas a time log is more in-the-moment specific.

                There are probably tons of ways you can keep a time log. Here are the two main ones that I know of:

                1. Record by Intervals - select a time interval (e.g. 1 hour) so that each hour you write down what you did. In this case, you only need to list the activities performed in that hour. This method is less detailed but easier to do.

                2. Record by Activity - basically after you complete an activity, list the end time. This method is a lot more detailed but can be really tedious.

                Personally I've found time logs to be most effective in cases where my time is dictated more by others than myself. So what I do is a mixture of scheduling and time logs.

                For instance, in the morning when I'm working, I 'try' not to be bothered and schedule blocks of time to go through my project and todo lists. Then in the afternoon (thats when most of my meetings take place) I keep a time log then because lots of times random colleagues or clients will just show up needing advice or help! And so by keeping a time log during those times, I can review it during my Weekly Review to see what I can improve.


                • #9
                  The best suggestions I have seen for a time log involve a grid on a single piece of paper. Down the side of the paper, list time in increments of 10 of 15 minutes. Across the top, list possible categories of time uses (such as phone calls, drop-in visitors, meetings, handling e-mail, etc.). The categories really will differ from person to person.

                  Throughout the day, make a mark in the appropriate column according to what you were doing during that 10-15 interval.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gthurman

                    Seriously, I'm finding it difficult to not end up procrastinating. I've found the time log article most helpful these last few days.

                    I had another revelation on this over the weekend. It's obvious, but it didn't occur to me until last night. If I kept a time log of non-work activities, I could get a better handle on getting things done at home.

                    Just goes to show you that I still tend to divide my work and non-work lives without thinking about it.