Oliver Starr served as editor to GTD Times from its launch, through March 2009.
Oliver Starr served as editor to GTD Times from its launch, through March 2009.
Robert Scoble, the well known blogger and ultra popular twitterer (Is that a word? This new lexicon is getting weirderer all the time just had a full day of Workflow Coaching from David Allen Company.
Robert was very impressed and had nothing but good things to say about the experience and the fact that in spite of his working for Microsoft for ages, his coach taught him a thing or two about Outlook that he didn’t know.
Anyway, head on over to Scobleizer.com and check it out!
No more! iamplify a company with the world’s largest selection of downloadable audios and videos has partnered with the David Allen Company to put the GTD Weekly Review, GTD Live, David Allen’s Full 2 Day Seminar, and In Conversation with David Allen into the convenient (and instantly yours) format of MP3. Now you can easily take your GTD recordings with you wherever you go and the price is lower than the same products on physical media so it’s a win all the way around.
More recordings are sure to come so if you’re a fan of MP3′s be sure to check back with iamplify to see what new titles they add next. This product will also be available in the DavidCo GTD Store in a few weeks.
So if you are interested in what David has to say – or as Twitter says – “what David is doing” you should make it a point to go to Twitter and follow GTDGuy aka David Allen.
According to the results of a recent survey that appeared in USA Today on Dec. 29, 2008, productivity has become one of the top challenges for executives. The survey was conducted by Robert Half Management Resources.
If the survey is to be believed — and there’s no reason why it should not — then there’s never been a better time to institute GTD either was an individual or within your company…
Based upon the study, 30% of CFOs felt that increasing productivity was their top challenge, followed by boosting profitability (20% of respondents). 1400 CFOs working for firms with at least 20 emplooyees from across the country were queried in telephone interviews to generate the results.
They were asked: “Which one of the following was the greatest challenge you faced in your first 100 days in your current position?” Their responses:
Personnel decisions, such as hiring or staff reductions
Building rapport with new staff
Building rapport with your CEO
From the original article:
“New financial managers need to make an immediate impact,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “In today’s economy, especially, executives may have less time to prove themselves and are expected to demonstrate tangible results.”
McDonald noted that while just 13 percent of CFOs cited building rapport with staff as their top priority, managers should not overlook this critical step. “A creative and motivated team is essential to enhanced productivity. Corporate leaders need to connect with their employees and understand what motivates them to perform at their highest levels.”
About the Survey
The national study was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments are represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of employees within each region.
About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com.
This is another installment in the ongoing series “Oliver’s GTD Experience”. The goal with this series is to share some of the thoughts, experiences, and personal as well as professional discoveries that have come about as a result of my effort to employ GTD in my life.
I’m in Ojai today and at the moment I should be over at the Ojai Valley Inn participating in the David Allen Company’s annual retreat. I really should be over there, but last night I had a discussion with a GTD coach that resulted in a major shift in my understanding of GTD.
I’ve been thinking about this all night and this morning while I was getting ready to head over to the conference my thoughts clarified into a post. I’ve been writing long enough to know that when that happens I should just sit down and pound on the keyboard or I risk losing my best thoughts as other things in my world start to interfere with my focus and ultimately kludge up what I want to write.
Originally I had planned on writing an introductory post about a new contributor to GTDtimes, Meg Edwards. Meg is a long time GTD practitioner and one of the most experienced GTD coaches working with DAC. For a variety of reasons that I will get into when I do her formal introduction, Meg typically ends up coaching the problem cases. Or as she puts it “the people who are stuck”.
According to Meg, what often happens is that people who get stuck have some issue or other that interfers with their ability to focus correctly on some part of the GTD process. For example, people with ADHD or those that have difficulty dealing with sequential processing.
David Allen, Meg says, basically assumes that people reading “Getting Things Done” (or “MIAW”), have pretty much normal executive function. However if they don’t…well, they end up getting some help from Meg if they’re lucky.
Now I don’t have too much trouble with executive function- usually. Those of you that have read my other posts may recall that I tend to be late so I can “self-medicate” with adrenaline by driving like a bat out of hell – I don’t do this intentionally, but the brain is a tricky and manipulative creature – sometimes I wonder who’s running the show in my case – me or my brain. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I was talking to Meg about the fact that I have started feeling sort of numb to my lists lately. I’ve been using Things for almost a year now and I realized that I am starting to develop an aversion to even clicking on the icon to check what needs to be done each day. Then, after several days go by I open Things and have to tick off a dozen or more items that I’ve completed (or realize in horror that I missed something important).
Obviously this is not a terribly GTD way to go about things and worse, for me it means that I have fallen back into my old habit of remembering everything (or almost everything since I’m still pretending like my trusted system is capturing everything which of course it can’t possibly be since I’m not opening it every day, right?)
Mark would be kicking my butt if he were around. This is not the black belt approach to GTD he followed. It isn’t even a brown belt approach. In fact, it’s more like a grey belt approach – you know, the sort of gray color that comes when you wash something white with a new pair of blue jeans?? This is hardly the color belt that the editor of GTDtimes ought to be wearing, is it? But I digress…
At any rate, I was explaining this to Meg and she was asking me some questions about what is going on in my world and in particular she asked me what I do when I have a task that I don’t particularly care for. Needless to say she wasn’t surprised to hear me explain that there are certain things that I detest doing so much that it practically takes an act of God (or one very pissed off female) to get me to get on with the getting done.
Shortly thereafter we started talking about another topic and didn’t really close the loop on this discussion. When we were walking out to the parking lot however I showed her one of my lasers (I’m the biggest nerd). This lead to my showing her video that I’ve taken of something that I believe may actually represent a somewhat significant scientific discovery that I may have made (this is a long story in and of itself, but if you want to see the footage you can find it here.
Meg was intrigued and after talking about this for a few minutes she asked me what my next action was. I explained that I was waiting to hear back from one of several microbiologists that I had written to in an effort to get confirmation.
Meg then asked me what my ultimate goal was with this project. “It’s not really a project I said; I’ve been playing around with this for years before I did GTD.”
“Do you know what your desired outcome looks like?” Meg asked me.
I told her I did and explained what my goals were. she asked me why I didn’t have a project for this and why it wasn’t anywhere within my lists including my long-term horizons of focus.
I tried to explain again that this was just a hobby and that…
You can see where this is going right? Of course this should be listed. It should have concrete next actions, it should have an ultimate final step to allow me to close the loop and if I am not really working on it seriously then I should park it in “Someday, Maybe”. What I shouldn’t do is spend thousands of hours a year on this “hobby” without stating my objective and having a systematic approach to getting to that point.
I tried once more to tell Meg that I didn’t have this as part of my trusted system because I just worked on this stuff for fun.
This was the “ah ha!” moment. “Fun?” she said. “Yes”, I explained. ” I do this for fun so I don’t need to put it in my system.”
Meg said to me “is everything in your trusted system something that you don’t want to do but know you have to do?”
“Of course” I said. That’s how I stay on top of that stuff and make sure that I can keep myself on track. There are some things I hate doing so much that in order to make myself do them I have to promise myself little rewards in order to get them completed.
“No wonder you are going numb to your trusted system”, Meg explained. “Anyone would if everything in there was a hateful task that you have to force yourself to do it. Why don’t you put things you like to do in your system?
I didn’t have an answer to this last question. I should have one. I would have liked to have had one. I told Meg that I needed to go back to my hotel and digest.
End result? After digesting all night – <burp> – I have come to a conclusion. Mind you I still don’t have an answer to the confounding question of the night prior but I have a solution just the same. I can avoid having to answer that particular question by making one simple change.
I need some new lists. Lists that include things I actually want to do not only things that I have to do. You know, I’m supposed to be pretty intelligent but sometimes I wonder what gave me (or anyone) that idea. Has anyone else failed to incorporate things that they like doing into their GTD lists? Or am I uniquely incompetent in this particular regard. Well, someone has to be the “dumbest wolf”*, I guess today it’s me – but I’ll bet you didn’t have an epiphany today, did you? You’ve got to take the bad with the good. It’s just the way of the world.
*the “Dumbest Wolf” is a reference to a story I used to tell about contextually relevant intelligence. Basically what it means is that if any one of us were suddenly turned into a wolf (a-la- King Arthur), in spite of the fact that our human intelligence is far greater than that of a wolf in our own domain- even this huge intellectual advantage isn’t sufficient to overcome the handicap of lacking the domain specific knowledge and expertise required to be a functional wolf. Thus, in spite of all our brain power, in the context of being a wolf, every sing one of us would be the dumbest wolf – and most likely the first one shot, trapped, hurt, or killed by the pack for being so stupid that we were too much of a liability.
Whenever I start to think I’m so smart I take a deep breath and remind myself that but for the grace of whatever divine power exists in the cosmos I could be the dumbest wolf or something even worse.
The David Allen Company and MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) have just announced their partnership to produce a full array of products based upon the productivity strategies outlined in David Allen’s best-selling book, “Getting Things Done”.
Well known for their incredibly successful “At A Glance” products, Meade is introducing a number of items including note-taker wallets, GTD Coordinators, tickler files, in baskets and more. In total there are 13 new products that have been developed by the partnership.
Distribution of these new items will be via the David Allen Company online store as well as select Staples locations nationwide. For more information about specific products please visit either on www.ataglance.com/GTD or www.davidco.com.
The full press release can be found here.
If you’re attending LotusSphere be sure to attend the two sessions being presented by David Allen and Eric Mack.
The first session, Best Practices Session, BP304:
“IBM Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes” will take place at 5:00 PM on January 19, at the Swan Hotel (SW 7-10). Due to the top down approach employed by most corporations in conjunction with Lotus Notes, many users see Notes as a “company” tool and not “their” tool. When tools become “personal,” productivity increases and when personal productivity increases so does the productivity of the work group and the organization. This session will show both expert and novice Notes users how they can use Notes coupled with proven best practices to make them
immediately more productive.
The second session: Birds of a feather session, BOF408: “Getting Things Done with IBM Lotus Notes” will take place at 7:00 AM on January 20, at the Swan Hotel (SW Mockingbird 1-2)
Here’s the Abstract:
This session will explore ways to make using Lotus Notes more productive by making it “personal.” This interactive discussion will bring together expert and novice Lotus Notes users to share how they are using Notes for personal action and information management.
About David Allen
David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and
organizational productivity. His twenty-five-year pioneering research and coaching to
corporate managers and CEOs of some of America’s most prestigious corporations and
institutions has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches
in the world and Business 2.0 magazine’s inclusion in their list of the “50 Who Matter
Now.” Fast Company Magazine has also called David “one of the world’s most
influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity.
David is the international bestselling author of Making It All Work: Winning at the Game
of Work and the Business of Life, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free
Productivity, and Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life. He is
also the engineer of GTD, the popular Getting Things Done methodology that has
shown millions how to transform a fast-paced, overwhelming, over committed life into
one that is balanced, integrated, relaxed, and has more successful outcomes.
For additional information about David Allen and GTD, please visit www.DavidCo.com
About Eric Mack
Eric Mack is the founder and president of ICA.COM, Inc. (ICA), a professional
consulting organization, based in California, USA. In 2007, Eric celebrated 25 years in
business as an technologist, software developer, public speaker, and productivity
consultant. He has provided expert consulting services to more than 350 corporate and
government clients, most notably in the area of information, communication, and action
management. An articulate speaker, Eric has also shared his technological insights with
more than 10,000 people around the world through his eProductivity coaching and
seminars. Eric has been a featured speaker at the Office 2.0 and KMWORLD
conferences and was the keynote and featured presenter for the Beyond Planning
Conference in Manila, Philippines.
Eric is also the creator of eProductivity™, a GTD® implementation solution for Lotus
Notes that is both used and recommended by David Allen.
For additional information about Eric Mack or ICA, please visit www.ICA.com
Michael Sampson, the collaboration expert and author of Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft® SharePoint® Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways (BP-Other)(which will be reviewed here soon) spent some time talking with David recently about Lotus Notes. Mainly they discussed how he and the company use Lotus Notes and how Notes supports GTD. You can check it out here.