Simple Productivity System


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Tips and best practices based on David Allen's "Getting Things Done" concepts, Covey's "7-Habits" and my everyday application of these productivity habits.

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Simple Productivity System

  1. 1. Principles of a Simple Productivity System 8 Habits to Achieve the Power of Done! Kevin Paschuck June 2, 2010
  2. 2. “So What?”  1 hour from now …
  3. 3. Three Key Objectives Framework for a Trusted System All “to-do’s” out of your head and off your mind Method for achieving results Stress-Free way of doing what’s most important Ideas for managing our energy Make front-end decisions about all “inputs”
  4. 4. Kanso (Simplicity) Simplicity means the achievement of maximum results with minimum means - Japanese Principle
  5. 5. Take What leave the rest for You and Works
  6. 6. 43% of Americans categorize themselves as disorganized
  7. 7. Does your day look like this?
  8. 8. Get a System 1. (but, keep it simple)
  9. 9. The 2 best … in my opinion
  10. 10. Components of a Simple System The Setup Inboxes, lists, calendar, file system Right Tools Must be simple to use and maintain Adoption and Usage Use the system every day
  11. 11. 2. Ubiquitous Capture
  12. 12. Capture Setup Notebook or Software Application Write down everything coming into your life not already in written format Loose Leaf Paper or Notebook Meeting notes Calendar Time specific actions, meetings and day specific information, tickler Master “To-Do” Lists @Work @Personal @Waiting For @Projects @Someday @Reference File System Physical inbox for papers, manila folders in alphabetical order & digital
  13. 13. Get Organized 3.
  14. 14. Put Everything in its Place Incoming Hard Copy Papers Physical inbox Simple File System - Alphabetical Have blank labels ready and empty folders on hand Tickler System Calendar for digital & “31” daily file folders for day specific items Purge Your Files Once a Year Trash anything that you will not need or untouched in last 12 months Find a Home Designate a spot for all your items – car keys, wallet, tax info, etc.
  15. 15. 4. Daily Processing (Major Inboxes: Email, Voicemail, Calendar, Notebook)
  16. 16. Processing Guidelines Process Calendar, Tickler & Actions Everyday More frequently if needed – don’t let items pile up – piles are your enemy Minimize your Inboxes Every place you have to go to check messages or get info is an “inbox” Scan Email Once an Hour But don’t be obsessive – Do email from top down to capture “threads” Schedule Time to Process First thing in the morning and last thing before you head home work best Process to Empty Celebrate when your inbox is empty
  17. 17. Incoming Workflow Process Just Do It If a task takes 2 minutes or less, just do it rather than adding to your lists Delete It If no action & you don’t need it, trash it (can also be filed for reference) Delegate It Are you the right person to do this task? (add to @Waiting For list) Defer It for Later Add it immediately to your “To-Do” or @Projects list File It If it’s just something to reference later – file right away if possible
  18. 18. 6. Plan(at a weekly level)
  19. 19. Schedule Your Work List Major Accomplishments for the Week Try to include a milestone for personal & yearly goals (limit these to 5) Most Important Tasks for the Day Decide each morning what’s most important to work on for that day Schedule your Tasks on the Calendar Recurring “work time” in 2 hour blocks as a placeholder Batch Tasks for the Day Smaller tasks that need to be completed that day
  20. 20. 6. Do the at a time) (One task Work
  21. 21. Find Focus & Execute Start with the Most Important Task Work on it for a set amount of time or until it’s done Minimize Distractions Turn off email, internet and don’t answer the phone Some Interruptions are Unavoidable Ask the question “Is this urgent or can we schedule some time later?” If Interrupted, Bookmark your Stopping Point Put all documents and work items aside (preferably in a folder)
  22. 22. 7. Weekly Review
  23. 23. Weekly Review, Every Week Get Clear Collect loose papers – Business cards, receipts, paper in “in-tray” Get “Inbox” to zero – Process all inboxes (email, notes, paper, etc.) Empty your head – Write down any uncaptured items Get Current & Review Calendar – Past & upcoming (capture tasks triggered) Lists – Project next actions, delete completed items Long term goals – Break it down into an actionable next step Follow-up on any “Waiting For” Items – Send reminder emails Get Creative Review Someday list – Transfer any active over to projects list Brainstorm new ideas – Add them to the right list
  24. 24. 8. Right Tools (for the job)
  25. 25. My Tools Notebook for Daily Capture You don’t need to power it up Levenger Leaf Paper To take meeting notes Calendar MS Office @work and Apple Mail @home Master “To-Do” Lists in MS Word @Work @Personal @Waiting For @Projects @Someday @Reference iPhone Apps List Master or SmartSheet (might eventually replace my MS Word)
  26. 26. Simple Productivity – A Recap 1 Just have a system 2 Capture everything 3 Organize your life to minimize brain strain 4 Process daily – get stuff out of your head 5 Plan your work – work your plan 6 Just do it – multitasking is less efficient 7 The weekly review is your safety net 8 Use the tools you already know
  27. 27. Closing Thoughts
  28. 28. Integrate Work with Life
  29. 29. Rome was not Built in a Day
  30. 30. There is No Perfect System
  31. 31. What was Helpful?
  32. 32. THANK YOU Kevin Paschuck Vice President, Public Sector RightNow Technologies kevin_paschuck