Getting things done


in Books and literature, Daily updates, Oxford

Luminox flare

After multiple recommendations, I started reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity. So far, most of what he sets out is familiar to me. I already deal with emails using an algorithm almost identical to the one he suggests. Likewise, my calendar and to-do list usage is closely akin to what he describes. What I am most hoping to get from the book is the ‘stress-free’ part. I have spent enormously more time worrying about the thesis than actually working on it (because I worry about it every minute of every day).

Hopefully, the nuts and bolts of his approach will help in the completion of the thesis, during the course of the next five weeks. I still have about half the book to go, so I am hoping it proves worth the time and money spent reading it.

[Update: 18 Mar 2007] As part of the ‘collection’ phase of GTD organization, I have started making project lists and reading lists on the wiki.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 18, 2007 at 12:02 am

Regina Spektor is growing on me.

To begin with, I didn’t think much of Neko Case. My mind has changed.

This may prove a similar progression.

Her bio is certainly very interesting.

SoAnonymousYouCantBelieveIt March 18, 2007 at 12:34 am
Milan March 18, 2007 at 12:47 am

Not my problem if YouTube is full of stolen intellectual property.

Google’s problem.

R.K. March 18, 2007 at 4:50 pm

There’s a decent chance her label either put that on YouTube or tolerates its presence there as a form of free publicity. It’s not as though someone who really likes the song is going to watch it over and over there, rather than buy the track of album.

Milan March 18, 2007 at 11:25 pm

I have removed all items from the To Do list in Entourage and moved them to other places. The process of consolidation continues.

Likewise, I removed To Do items from my hardback notebook and shifted them to the Moleskine organizer.

Milan March 19, 2007 at 1:03 am

Tonight, I deleted more than 1500 messages marked ‘SchoolSpam’ in Entourage. That is to say, messages that seemed to have no bearing on me when I glanced at them.

With all their PDF attachments and the like, it cleared 800 megs of disk space. Also, it made Entourage run noticeably faster. And, just in case I ever need them for some reason, they are still in GMail.

Milan March 19, 2007 at 4:43 pm

In keeping with the guru’s teachings, I got a bunch of office supplies today:

Three trays (inbox, pending, to read)
Scotch tape (normal and double sided)
Paper clips
Binder clips
3×5″ cards

Now to get this thesis written…

Milan March 21, 2007 at 1:16 am

While I am trying out the Allen GTD system, I may as well give the free Thinking Rock software a try.

Available for virtually all platforms.

Milan March 24, 2007 at 6:40 pm

I am giving this GTD thing a real run for its money.

I already had a Moleskine 18-month calendar.

Now, I am trying out the Hipster PDA. I just need to wait for my Fisher Space Pen to arrive…

Milan June 9, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Regina Spektor is being discussed on MeFi.

. April 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Getting things done. Or not.
Posted by zoom! on April 11, 2009, at 9:26 am

. September 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm

The alternative to the feckless to-do list is what I call “living in your calendar.” That means taking your tasks off the to-do list, estimating how much time each of them will consume, and transferring them to your calendar. (Don’t forget to leave time to process your email. And leave some empty space — one to two hours — each day to deal with the inevitable crises that will crop up.) In essence, you’re making a production plan for your work.

Deciding which item to handle at what time overcomes the paradox of choice, compensates for the intrinsic heterogeneity of your work, provides the context of deadlines and other commitments, and provides a (soft) commitment device to help you do the right thing at the right time.

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