personal+effectiveness category archives
I've had the Stop Starting, Start Finishing brochure / comic from Arne Rock and his team sitting in my briefcase ever since the Lean Kanban conference last spring. It's a fun read about how Justin (Time) does a Kanban implementation.
The Boston Globe, David Allen and Farhad Manjoo all have me thinking about personal productivity, and how to go about creating the necessary focus.
Project management and knowledge management are about getting things done. I attended and spoke at the Center for Business Information (CBI) 6th Annual Forum on Knowledge Management this week in Philadelphia. Rather than talk about knowledge management directly, I opted to speak about managing projects - whether they are KM or other types.
Mobile phones are the best thing since sliced bread. They are the worst invention since television commercials. Yin. Yang. Are your mobile devices distracting you from getting things done? Or are they part of your web of tools that you use to accomplish things today?
I drew David Allen's logic in response in describing why people get overwhelmed at work (and elsewhere).
The monthly SIKM Boston meeting is usually an eclectic mix of member-focused discussion, and today was no different. There was a range of topics from personal knowledge management to KM technology rollouts to "how to" to social business and more. Here are some thoughts and links inspired by the conversation.
Inspired by Oscar Berg thinking on experts: "Being an expert is not about knowing everything within a certain domain. It is about being able to ask the right questions, and having the skills and network to find the answers."
It seems obvious to say some of these things, but not everyone knows how to use email better. Here are some basic hints.
Listening to podcasts this week, I came across an odd juxtaposition of topics associated with whether things are real if we can think them. I happened to listen to In Our Time and LeanBlog podcasts sequentially, and the ideas connected in my mind.
In the Personal Knowledge Management workshop hosted by the Social Learning Center, the latest question is to write an elevator pitch for PKM. The quick take: It's about getting things done.
I checked out LaunchBar and decided to keep it as a replacement for Mac's built-in Spotlight. I'm keeping it in my toolbox now.
Garret Keizer's article about Privacy has me realizing something important about the Seek-Sense-Share model Harold Jarche uses to describe PKM: it is iterative and works at multiple levels.
The Boston Globe had an article on "How to make time expand" this weekend. Interesting research suggests that giving away time creates the perception of having more time.
Nathan Zeldes has discovered the "dark side of information overload" - that people can't stop because that is what their environment forces them into.
Interested in personal effectiveness? What about how people work together? One seemingly simple aspect of this is the design of the workplace itself - the space, the technology, the tools. Sometimes these simple things get in the way of our being more effective. A Dan Morris article has me thinking, "Most overlooked place for efficiency improvement? It's right in front of you!"
A recent HBR Blog Network article by Susan David asks "Is Busyness Bad for Business?" and the answer isn't completely as expected. Be smart. And I suggest we need to do a better job of SEEING what is going on.
I don't think it will be my first act when I become King of the World, but it will happen in the first few days. Kill off email.
People say a lot of things without thinking. We believe a lot of things without checking their validity. I've run across some examples recently. For many of these things, we should at least ask ourselves if they are really true.
Thought without action is a dream. Action without thought is a disaster.
Interesting definition of slack from Jim Benson: The gaps between work that make flow possible and define cadence
I just listened to Joe Dager's Business 901 podcast with Dan Markovitz of TimeBack Management on Individual Lean, the Root Cause of Success? and found myself nodding my head and smiling at many of the familiar themes I have taken with my interest in the topic of personal effectiveness.
Another find on my personal effectiveness journey points to Dan Markovitz and his book, A Factory of One.
Wasting time is such a 20th Century mindset. Why not give people the time and resources they need to accomplish interesting work, and then measure them on results instead?
Be conscious of what you are doing. This is my takeaway from Soren Gordhamer's blog post, "How to stay focused in a world of distractions."
Everyone claims to know what their priorities are. But do they know what to ignore? What to say "no" to? What NOT to do today?
Tony Schwartz has a great piece on "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" that has inspired a lot of comments and additional conversation. Multitasking - and eliminating it - is an important topic to doing well as an individual as well as in organizations that want to get stuff done.
What tricks do you use when confronted by a mountain? How do you convert it into a molehill?
Ask yourself some good questions, rather than worry about getting buried in information. This is the essential advice of Frank and Magnone's new book.
Interesting set of executive "habits" associated with failures from Sydney Finkelstein - originally published eight years ago. I like the "lack of respect" early warning sign.
A local paper has a great quote that is takes four times longer to complete two tasks effectively than to do each one individually.
There are always more things to do. Rather than continually bemoan the fact that the backlog exists, find some mechanism to "gain comfort and control" over what you are doing today and what you are NOT doing today.
I came across something in my personal life that connects back to my business life. Use experience to get better.
Another take on defining problems the right way, motivated by a David Allen newsletter article.
Pierre Khawand has a simple, short video that looks at interruptions from a slightly different angle. Not multitasking but the results of the effort.
It is my responsibility to post useful information into the world. And it is also my responsibility to decide how, when and where to consume the information that comes to me. And we should work out together how we want to do that.
Do you go for perfect or good enough when producing your work? Do you go for perfect or interesting when selecting job candidates or companies with whom to do business?
Mark White has published an eBook as your very own "Get Out of Jail Free" card - information jail. It's an interesting three-week program to help someone change their relationship to their own overload.
Knowledge workers have lots of gold in their personal archives. But how can others learn about it if they don't know you have it? If you are a knowledge worker, don't hide your gold. Share it with others and it will grow and change in ways that you might not expect.
I'm in the midst of shifting from Windows XP into the Mac operating system. I am trying to find a keyboard launcher to replace ActiveWords and have been testing out Quicksilver to some frustration.
An interesting speech from William Deresiewicz on leadership and the need for being alone with your thoughts also includes a comment about multitasking.
There are a number of changes afoot in my personal toolset. One of the big ones is that I am dropping MS Outlook for Google for my email, contacts, calendar, and tasks. Here are some thoughts about that transition. And it all works with my iPhone too!
Based on a recommendation, I decided to pick up Daryl Conner's Managing at the Speed of Change. The book's focus is more on the underpinnings of why changes work (or fail), based on his research and experiences. I enjoyed the model he developed in the book.
The final chapter of SPIN Selling stood out for its emphasis on turning theory (the book) into a regular practice.
Dawn Foster at GigaOm has a nice discussion of "How to Write Better Emails." I've talked about many of these things as well, but it's nice to see this on a widely-read website.
I received a complimentary upgrade of PersonalBrain, and these are my comment in thanks for the upgrade. It has also given me a chance to review how I use PersonalBrain and if any of the new features are going to make sense for me.
The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared." This idea shows up again and again in life and business. For some reason, I pick up on it right away when I am reading something new or hearing new ideas about how to organize or plan or get something done. It's usually in the form of "to succeed at _____, you must be prepared."
Last week I attended the Traction User Group (TUG) conference last week. While it was your usual software user-group meeting with customer presentations and some software updates, they also designed in a larger discussion around the concept of Observable Work with keynotes from Jim McGee and Jon Udell as well as several of the customer presentations tying into the idea.
I've talked about the idea of What Good Looks Like a number of times here. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Stever Robbins, The Get-It-Done Guy, talking about the same thing with different words on his recent podcast
Add "attends meetings well" to the list of things that don't belong on resumes or job postings. Along with "good at multitasking." Thanks for that belong to Mike Monteiro and his post on "The Chokehold of Calendars."
The Boston Globe today had an interesting tidbit in their Uncommon Knowledge column, under "When not to interrupt." The short version is that the research suggests that the actual work quality on a second task is impacted by when the first task is interrupted.
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