Nanci Hardwick Gets Things Done


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Nanci Hardwick, CEO of Schultz-Creehan Holdings, Inc., shared her experience with Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen to Women in Leadership, a professional women's group in the New River Valley of Virginia.

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  • Leaving the grocery store remembering the thing you came for,
    Remembering the call that needs to be made while in the shower
    Our heads are not the right place to store data that requires timing or priority coding
    I believed him when he said how much do you trust that you know where to be next Tuesday at 9:30am? Do you trust you know what you should be working on this afternoon? Why is the calendar so trusted? Because it is ALL there. Every detail. No memory required.
  • What David says to do
  • 2 days a realistic initial investment and he suggests a weekend
    A big part of his message is your life is integrated, and many of your personal tasks can only be done during the work day, so make your system seamless and incorporate both.
    Filing system is a tickler system that is organized by month and days of month
  • Touch things only once. Do not be tempted to put things back in the IN box.
  • Give handouts
    Collect, Process, Organize, Review, Do
  • List makers suffer from skepticism have never put it ALL in a list
  • Context is what could you do where you are with the tools you have (phone, laptop, internet service, store, with people you need)
  • Do you feel a sense of accomplishment?
  • Notes made in the car and tucked in my bag will get read and entered into the system.
  • I did adopt the alpha organization in the one drawer I purged and organized.
  • Catch up is hard because I can’t help but take actions needed while sorting email.
  • Reviewing – calendared two hours on Friday, but rarely do it. Mornings may be best for me, even though my best thinking happens then.
  • Nanci Hardwick Gets Things Done

    1. 1. Book by DavidAllen Interpretation by Nanci Hardwick
    2. 2.  Why I read this book  What this book says to do  What I did  How it worked  What I think about it now
    3. 3. For the Hereafter The preacher told me the other day I should be thinking about the Hereafter. I told him, "I do, Father, all the time. Every time I go from one room to the other, I have to ask myself… 'Now, what am I here after?'
    4. 4. THINGS WE JUST “REMEMBER”  Can you go to the grocery store without a list and not forget anything?  Do you ever remember the call that needs to be made in the shower? Or at night in bed? NO MEMORY REQUIRED  Do you believe that you will be in the right place at the right time for your appointments next week?  What’s the difference?? Why is the calendar so much better, so trusted?  Because it is ALL there. Every detail. No memory required.
    5. 5. Most often, something you want to be different than it is currently is on your mind because:  you haven’t clarified exactly what the intended outcome is  you haven’t decided what the very next physical action step is, or  you haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust.
    6. 6. The great cleanup and download
    7. 7.  Time – Initial Renovation and maintenance  Space – Home and Office  In basket  Files  Paper  A space you want to be in!  Tools  Filing system ▪ “a giant stack” and a labeler  Lists  Calendar
    8. 8.  “The first activity is to search your physical environment for anything that doesn’t belong where it is, the way it is, permanently, and put it in to your in basket.”  BEWARE: don’t slip into purging/organizing/acting on items found as these are potential time sinks.
    9. 9.  NOW, sort through, to:  Trash what you don’t need  Complete any less than 2 minute actions  Hand off anything you can delegate  Add reminders into your system for greater than 2 minute actions  Identify and add to your project list any larger commitments
    10. 10.  A “Projects” list  Project support material  Calendared actions/info  “Next Actions” lists  A “Waiting For” list  Reference material  A “Someday/Maybe” list
    11. 11.  “The most common categories of action reminders”:  Calls  At computer  Errands  At office  At home  Agendas (for people and meetings)  Read/Review
    12. 12.  “You must be assured that you’re doing what you need to be doing, and that it’s OK to be not doing what you’re not doing.”  If your list of calls no longer includes all the calls you need to make, your brain no longer trusts the list and goes back to trying to remember.
    13. 13.  Choose actions based on these criteria:  Context  Time available  Energy available  Priority  A low energy moment would be the time to read, update contact files, back up, etc.
    14. 14.  Think of a looming project at work or home.  Now visualize or define a successful outcome for that project.  What is the very next step that you would need to take to make progress?
    15. 15. DavidAllen visits Nanci’s life
    16. 16.  I “collected” the entire surface of my desk  And my projects drawer ▪ Other drawers, cabinets, and bookshelf are on standby ▪ But I cleaned out an entire drawer in my 4-drawer cabinet at home!  I sorted and trashed and made lists  I felt the rush only those with a full trash can experience  I turned to my laptop, and faced my inbox…
    17. 17.  June 16: Process and Purge over 1,200 emails  Except for the 250 I gave up on and moved to another folder  Wow! – ZERO EMAIL IN INBOX!  Restructure my lists:  Task list categories were subject themes: Sales, Human Resources,Volunteer, etc  Task list categories are now by action type: Calls, @home, Projects,To Buy,Waiting on Others
    18. 18.  Added personal tasks to Outlook  Used my inbox as an inbox rather than a staging area  Threw away the stuff I’ll never read (and felt ok about it)  Purged files and gave myself permission to delete email  Now follow the two minute rule – especially with new things to read. I skim and chuck or flag what should be read with care  Empty my laptop bag every morning and evening  Keep a notepad and pen in my car  Unsubscribed from unwanted email rather than delete
    19. 19. We notice Nanci never mentioned adopting the filing system….
    20. 20.  I am master of my to-do list. I sleep well. I shower well. I leave the grocery store well. Most of the time.  There is raw power in an empty in box and I drink from the well every day.
    21. 21.  8/24: Kate emails to say, can you still talk to everyone about managing email?  I have 177 emails in my inbox, dating back to 7/20.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen!  I say “Yes, Kate!” and spend a better part of the day, the whole night, and the next morning getting back to zero.
    22. 22. Girl vs. Email … and tasks, and projects, and life
    23. 23.  Capturing it all  Making “next action” decisions  Reviewing lists  My task lists – using dates and priority flags  Reading while laptop boots up  How it went awry  Why it was worth getting back to zero
    24. 24.  Action-oriented check lists are very helpful.  Defining next actions when I’m in that moment really thinking about that project is very helpful but harder than you would think.  Inboxes should contain unread email or be empty.  Calendars can include “make decision about X” items with relevant detail.  Reviewing is still tricky.
    25. 25. Knowing tasks are captured allows creative thinking