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jerryking : to-do   7

Cut your to-do-list short (if you can’t, pretend to) | Fortythree.me
POSTED ON 15. SEPTEMBER 2019 BY FORTYTHREE

FOCUS, PRODUCTIVITY, TO DO LIST
culling  focus  GTD  lists  productivity  say_"no"  to-do 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Work smarter, not harder. Here’s how
July 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by KIRA VERMOND, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

Suzanne Andrew, a freelance writer in Vancouver, took stock of her growing number of deadlines. One client wanted her to complete 26 profiles – articles that describe an individual or organization – in one month.

“I love writing profiles, but when I looked at the amount of work, it felt crushing,” she says.

Rather than brace herself for 18-hour days, all-nighters and inevitable burnout, Ms. Andrew took a different approach. She paused and then came up with a game plan.

“I’d worked as a project manager in the past and found that what worked best when managing other people was to create work-back schedules and milestone deadlines,” she says. “As a freelancer I was used to simply working to deadline, but realized I could make things easier and less stressful if I acted as my own project manager.”.....Ms. Andrew created a work-back schedule that outlined exactly how many interviews she had to conduct, plus a daily writing quota to meet the overall deadline. Once she met her daily target, she could stop work for the day and rest.

Here are a few pointers.....

1. WORK WITH YOUR ATTENTION LEVELS
Not every moment of the day is created equal when it comes to feeling sharp and productive. Our brains can only handle so much focused work time. Everyone has three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive.

Feeling proactive? You’re in the zone: Take advantage of those times each day. Active times are best spent on less focused tasks like addressing emails or making a phone call.

And those inactive times? “Your brain is cooked,” You should probably be taking a mental break, going for a walk or getting a cup of coffee. Even just doing low-priority, repetitive work like filing is a good idea.”
Work with your brain’s energy levels. Don’t fight them and push yourself through those inactive times.

2. PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
Don’t allow your inbox become your to-do list. Instead, take 10 minutes at the end of the workday and create tomorrow’s action plan. What’s most important? What must get done? The next morning, look at that list and work on the most vital tasks before even thinking about firing up e-mail.

3. THINK LIKE A SMOKER
Pay attention to the way smokers take their breaks: They leave the building, go outside and even socialize.
“I’m a big believer in quality breaks,” she says. “How you take your break is as important as [taking] a break.”Get up. Move. Take in some fresh air and talk to people. You’ll come back more refreshed and proactive.

4. TRY THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
....a productivity method, developed by a business consultant named Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. (Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian, a nod to old-school, plastic timers shaped like tomatoes.) The method dictates that you set a timer for a short amount of time – say, 25 or 30 minutes – and then focus on one task without interruption. Once the timer goes off, take a short break. Then, if needed, you do it again. Commit to going deep for 25 - 90 minutes (jk: sustained inquiry),” “It’s amazing when we consciously choose to do one thing, and one thing only, how much we get done.”
action_plans  attention  attention_spans  best_practices  focus  lists  monotasking  Pomodoro  preparation  priorities  productivity  project_management  slack_time  sustained_inquiry  thinking_backwards  thinking_deliberatively  timeouts  timing  to-do  work-back_schedules  work_smarter 
july 2019 by jerryking
How One Silicon Valley C.E.O. Masters Work-Life Balance - The New York Times
By Bee Shapiro
Aug. 24, 2018

Daily Lists
I have a tomorrow list that I make the night before. I write down the three things I have to accomplish the next day. I try to wait until I get to the office before I’ll crack that open. I used to have a more organic approach, and my system just broke. With the complexities of the C.E.O. life — board calls, meetings, traveling and trying to be there for your family — you need a system.

Work Philosophies
This guy Tony Schwartz wrote a book that said: Time is a finite resource and energy is renewable. This was profound for me. For example, I enjoy the act of staying fit. It feels good, and the results are palpable. If I’m not getting exercise and seven hours of sleep, I’m not as good, so I view it as essential.

I also set themes throughout the week [JCK: thinking in *themes* or *layers* or *levels*]. I borrowed this from Jack Dorsey. It helps me and the people on my team minimize the content twitching that goes on. So if Monday is themed for business matters, and Thursday is more for recruiting, everyone knows. Content twitching is one of the reasons we feel overwhelmed and maybe not as productive. We’re constantly content twitching between apps and topics.
CEOs  Evernote  exercise  focus  Jack_Dorsey  metacognition  productivity  routines  Silicon_Valley  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  to-do  lists  finite_resources  Tony_Schwartz  work_life_balance  GTD  think_threes  personal_energy  overwhelmed  self-mastery  squirrel-like_behaviour  systematic_approaches 
august 2018 by jerryking
To-Do List Apps: 5 Easy Tricks for Using Them Better
Oct. 12, 2017 | WSJ | By Chris Kornelis.

Evernote, an organizational app includes a myriad to-do list capabilities and allows the dispensing with conventional written lists.

Best practices:

* Empty Your Human Brain Into Your Digital Brain
“Your brain did not evolve to remember, remind and prioritize beyond about four things,” “Your head is for having ideas but not for holding them. So get all the ideas out, not just part of them. Otherwise, you won’t trust your head and you won’t trust your list.”

The Things 3 app is uniquely set up in this regard: The app, a complete overhaul of which was released last spring, has an “Inbox” specifically designed for a brain dump.

Put any idea or task into the Inbox—or even direct Siri to put a thought in the Inbox—and leave the item there. When you’re ready to get organized, mouse-click each Inbox idea or task and drag it to the specific list where it belongs, or schedule a time to complete the task.

* Detail the Whole Task
“Most people’s to-do lists don’t work very well because they don’t specify an action to be taken for each item. Put actionable items into your app—input “Make a reservation at The Cheesecake Factory for Mom’s birthday,” rather than something that requires even 10 seconds of analysis, such as “Mom’s Birthday.”

Trello, an app that allows users to drag-and-drop digital cards onto various vertical boards, makes it easy to visualize every one of your to-dos at a glance and make sure each is actionable. But the onus is on you to do so.

* Write Down When and Where You’re Going to Complete the Task
E.J. Masicampo, co-author of a paper exuberantly titled “Consider It Done!: Plan Making Can Eliminate the Cognitive Effects of Unfulfilled Goals,” says one of the biggest to-do list mistakes people make is failing to commit to a time frame to accomplish each of the tasks on their lists. “If your strategy is to go to the list and pick something to do,” he said, “eventually your list becomes a graveyard of things that you never felt like doing.

* Embrace Anxiety and Satisfaction
Merely writing down a to-do task can give you a feeling of having made progress. But Mr. Masicampo cautions against letting that give you a false sense of completion. “There’s a balance,” he said. “You want to have some anxiety, otherwise you won’t work at all.” And, of course, it’s far more satisfying to cross a finished task off a list.

* It Could Come to This: Delete the App
Some people are not ready to give up paper, and that’s OK: “I know a bunch of tech people who are going back to paper because there are fewer clicks. It’s easy input and output. You don’t need to slow yourself down too much to use it. Tech sort of pretends that it’s going to speed things up, but it doesn’t.”
David_Allen  Evernote  false_sense_of_completion  GTD  lists  mobile_applications  paper-based  productivity  Things_3  tips  To-Do  Trello  work-back_schedules 
october 2017 by jerryking
WWE champ, fitness goddess Trish Stratus shares how she kicks butt - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 21 2014 | The Globe and Mail | COURTNEY SHEA.

Here, some of her other secrets to success.

(1) The calm in the middle of the ring. Take time every day to disconnect is so important for having perspective. For Trish Stratus, hot yoga is her stress-eliminating device.

(2) Preparedness is a weapon. Trish's mentor, Robert Kennedy,the then publisher of magazines Oxygen and MuscleMag, gave her the opportunity to do a photo shoot. He told her about it two months in advance, set her up with a trainer and said, “Go get ready for it.” Trish's formula for success, is "preparedness meets opportunity". Many people are given opportunities in life, but they aren’t able or willing to prepare for them. Opportunities happen more often then you think but you have to be ready for them.

(3) I am woman, hear me headlock. Setbacks occur, but keep busting your butt out there, keep working, keep working, and eventually people will realize and recognize your contribution. Sometimes having to overcome hurdles is also a chance to make a mark.

(4) To get it right, write it down. Take notes. Make (to-do) lists. Keeping track of things can enhance awareness, mindfulness, and even inspiration.

(5) Authenticity matters (even in scripted wrestling). The best wrestlers– the ones that have longevity and resonate most with the audience – are almost always when it’s an amped-up version of the actual personality.
authenticity  calm  disconnecting  fitness  hard_work  hotties  inspiration  journaling  lessons_learned  lists  mentoring  mindfulness  models  note_taking  opportunities  personal_energy  preparation  self-awareness  setbacks  To-Do  readiness  women  yoga 
september 2014 by jerryking
Activity Does Not Always Equal Productivity - NYTimes.com
October 11, 2013 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

"Don't Confuse Motion and Progress"

We're more multitasking more today than you ever have before...
The real issue is whether you’re getting the right things done....what stands in the way of your being truly productive? What's the right balance between attending to what’s truly urgent and focusing on what’s less pressing but will most likely add the most enduring value.
(1) You need more sleep than you think, and maybe much more. 95 percent of us need at least seven to eight hours of sleep to feel fully rested.
(2) Do the most important thing first. The pull to e-mail is powerful and Pavlovian. By checking your e-mail first, you effectively turn over your agenda to others. It is far better to decide what your agenda ought to be the night before and make that the first thing you focus on at work, without interruption, for up to 90 minutes. If you must check e-mail when you get up because there are urgent messages, scan quickly for anything that truly cannot wait an hour. Answer those, ignore the rest, and then do what’s truly most important.
(3) Stop pushing through. Human beings are designed to operate in 90-minute cycles...By focusing more intensely for shorter periods, you’ll get more done, in less time, at a higher level of quality, more sustainably.
(4) Get it off your mind. With so much coming at us all the time, it’s hardly surprising that our instinctive default is to do whatever feels most urgent and easiest to address. The consequence, of course, is that we often keep putting off what’s most challenging and then lack the energy to do it by the time we finally get to it. BELIEVE IN LISTS, first and foremost as a means of downloading everything that’s on your mind to get it off your mind....keep all lists in one place. For example, what I want to do that day, over the next week, and in the longer term. I also keep a list of e-mails I need to send; calls I intend to make; ideas I want to explore further; issues I want to discuss with specific colleagues; and even things that are making me feel anxious... The other value I derive from detailed lists is that they help clarify what I ought not to be focused on. By having everything in one place, I can much more easily decide what’s truly important and what’s not. Half the value of having a list is to make it more obvious what not to do. I might have 50 to 100 items on my lists, but I typically give explicit priority to three or fewer in any given day.
(5) Make it matter. Finally, and simply, ask yourself a simple question before you begin any activity: “Is this the best way I could be spending my time?” If the answer is no, don’t do it.
work_life_balance  productivity  lists  effectiveness  GTD  busy_work  e-mail  Tony_Schwartz  multitasking  sleep  timeouts  priorities  affirmations  monotasking  To-Do 
october 2013 by jerryking
First on your to-do list? The unpleasant tasks
Jun. 09 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

increasing the overall demand for what you sell – making the pie bigger, rather than figuring out on how to divide it with competitors – is an important part of success....Stop focusing on the quality of your work, because people care more about the quality of their own work, advises blogger Ben Drake. Help others improve by asking them what they need from you to help them soar.
Harvey_Schachter  serving_others  talent_management  thinking_big  to-do 
june 2013 by jerryking

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