I´ve been posting a lot recently about finding one´s purpose (via discussions about The Highest Goal, Claiming Your Place at the Fire, The 8th Habit, others) and have spent some time discussing getting started (via a discussion about Art of the Start). This week, I am going to switch gears a bit and discuss personal productivity. Although different, it is really all related because highly productive people are more able to identify and act on and from their purpose.
I had the opportunity to chat with David Allen, productivity expert and author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and Ready for Anything.
I´ve talked about the first half of Getting Things Done, which focuses on establishing a paradigm for productivity, setting up our workspace, and collecting, corralling, and processing our stuff. The third part of the book is called "The Power of the Key Principles"?? and focuses the underlying and often profound fundamental reasons these productivity techniques work. By understanding and utilizing these principles, managers can further hone their effectiveness and success.
Here are a few juicy quotes I like a lot:
"The sense of anxiety and guilt doesn´t come from having too much to do; it´s the automatic result of breaking agreements with yourself."??
"I suggest that you use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them. you want to be adding value as you think about projects and people, not simply reminding yourself they exist."??
"We are all accountable to define what, if anything, we are committed to make happen as we engage with ourselves and others. And at some point, for any outcome that we have an internal commitment to complete, we must make the decision about the next physical action required. There´s a great difference, however, between making that decision when things show up and doing it when they blow up."??
"In my many years of coaching individuals, this pattern has been borne out more times than I can count – usually it´s the brightest and most sophisticated folks who have the most stuck piles, in their offices, homes, and heads. Most of the executives I work with have at least several big, complex, and amorphous projects stacked either on a credenza or on a mental shelf. There always seem to be hobgoblin thoughts lurking inside them – "If we don´t look at or think about the projects, maybe they´ll stay quiet!"??
"Your life and work are made up of outcomes and actions. When your operational behavior is grooved to organize everything that comes your way, at all levels, based upon those dynamics, a deep alignment occurs, and wondrous things emerge. You become highly productive. You make things up, and you make them happen."??
Cool. I´ve really enjoyed exploring Getting Things Done and am going to give Allen´s system a try myself!
How about you?