Archive for the ‘GTD’ Category

If you read nothing else…

26 June 2007

If I had you read only one thing to help you simplify organize your life, it would be this.

Press link below now and frequently.
So here are the 7 habits:

1. Reduce before organizing. The mistake most people make when trying to organize their stuff or their tasks or their projects is that they have a whole mess of things to organize, and it’s too complicated. If you have a closet crammed full of stuff, sure, you can buy a bunch of closet organizers, but in the end, you’ll still have a closet crammed full of stuff. Same thing with time management: you can organize a packed schedule, but it’ll still be crammed full of tasks. The solution: reduce, eliminate, simplify. If you take your closet full of 100 things and throw out all but the 10 things you love and use, now you don’t need a fancy closet organizer. Same thing with time management: if you have 20 things to do today, and reduce it to just the three most important tasks, you don’t need a schedule anymore. How to reduce: take everything out of a closet or drawer or other container (including your schedule), clean it out, and only put back those items you truly love and really use on a regular basis. This will leave you with a pile of other stuff — get rid of it by tossing it, donating it, selling it or giving it to somebody who will love it. If you can’t bear to part with some of the stuff, put it in a “maybe” box and store it in your attic or basement or other storage space. Label it with a description and date, and six months later, when you haven’t needed any of it, toss it.

2. Write it down now, always. Our minds are wonderful things, but they leak like a sieve. We don’t remember things when we need to remember them, and they continually come up when we don’t need them. Instead of using your mind as storage for things you need to remember, write it down. I carry a small pocket notebook wherever I go, and write things down immediately. Then I process the ideas and tasks later into my calendar or to-do list, so I don’t forget.

3. Have one inbox & process. Well, actually you need two inboxes – one for home and one for work. But many people have many more than that — paper comes to their desk and lands in a number of places. Phone messages get placed everywhere. Notes to self are posted all over the place. Instead, have one inbox, and put all incoming stuff in there. Then, once a day (or once a week at home if that works better for you), process the inbox to empty. Take an item out of the inbox and decide what to do with it, right away: toss it, delegate it, file it, put it on your to-do list, or do it now. Do the same thing to the next item, until your inbox is empty. Don’t defer these decisions for later.

4. A place for everything. Related to the above tip is to have a place for each item in your life. Where do your car keys go? You should have one place for them (next to the door is best) and you’ll never lose them again. Where do your pens go? How about your magazines? I teach my kids to find a “home” for every toy or other item in their rooms (even still, their toys are mostly homeless wanderers, but they’re kids) and that’s a concept that works for us grown-ups too: each item should have a home, and if it doesn’t, we need to designate one. Labels can help you remember where those homes are. Now, if you find something on your table or counter top or on you bed or on your desk, you know that it doesn’t belong there. Find its home — don’t just toss something anywhere. The same concept applies to information: do you have one place where you put all your information? If not, try a personal wiki — it’s accessible from work and home, and you can create pages for each type of information in your life — schedules, goals, to-dos, movies to watch, books to read, notes on projects, etc.

5. Put it away now. Most people have a habit of putting something on a table or counter top or on their desk with the intention of “putting it away later”. Well, this is how things get messy and disorganized. Instead, put it away now — in its home. It only takes a few seconds, and this one habit will save you a lot of cleaning and sorting and organizing later. When you find yourself putting something down, catch yourself, and force yourself to put it away now. After a little while, it will become second nature.

6. Clean as you go. Closely related to Habit 5, this habit is effective because it’s much easier to clean things as you work or as you move through your day than to let them pile up and do a big cleaning session later. So if you’re cooking, try to wash your dishes as you use them, and wipe the counter, instead of leaving a huge mess. Same principle applies to everything we do. If it’s easier to do it in smaller increments, we are more likely to do it. If there is a huge mess to clean, we are more likely to be intimidated or overwhelmed by it and leave it for later.

7. Develop routines & systems. If you’ve gotten everything uncluttered and organized, you might sit back and enjoy the pleasantness of it. Being organized and having a simplified working environment or home is tremendously satisfying. But the problem is that after a little while, things tend to start to get disorganized and cluttered again. Things tend to gravitate towards chaos. The solution: you need to develop systems to keep your organization in place. For example, the inbox processing mentioned above is a system: you have specific procedures for processing all incoming papers, and you have a routine for doing it (once a day). All systems follow the same guidelines — specific procedures and a routine that is done at a set interval (three times a day, once a day, once a week, once a month, etc.). It’s important that you identify the systems you have in your life (and they exist, even if you don’t know they do — but they may be complicated and chaotic) and write them out so that you can make them efficient, simple, and organized. Develop systems for dealing with paperwork and mail, with kids schedules, with errands and laundry and chores and exercise and everything else. Once those systems are in place, you need to be vigilant about keeping them going, and then things will stay organized.


GtD stuff

18 January 2007

Fumbling Towards Geekdom: A 2006 productivity hot-or-not guide

hack your life

31 December 2006

2006 LifeHack Review: Best 50 hacks for your Life –

Must have product #1

23 March 2006

My wife got me one of these ‘kitchen’ product for our 9th anniversary.  I didnt know the theme of 9th was lame.  I opened it and honestly had a “WTF” moment.

Anyway, it has graduated to the neckband that holds my mini USB thumb drive.  This thing is awesome.  It is like ginsu wonder, cuts through all type of stuff.  It is awesome for the bajillion magazines I get, I can cut right out the articles I want and throw away the rest.  For CD cases.  For trimming down a USPS postage print out to tape on a box.  You name it.  Best $2.95 you ever spent.  Plus when will you ever again be able to be a Pampered Chef Owner for a mere $2.95?

Enjoy, you heard it here first.

Kitchenware: i-Slice®

The Pampered Chef, Ltd.

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Gmail master

22 March 2006

Check out Adam Pash’s column this week.  Great ways to make Gmail even better!

Hack Attack: Become a Gmail master – Lifehacker

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Browser Hacks Nicholas Roussos

25 February 2006

Twelve Ways To Mark Up A Book

21 February 2006

Books are a fantastic way to gain knowledge. With books, one can learn
new techniques, gain new skills, and learn from role models who have
been to where one wants to be and can show the way. There are many
different ways to read books and just as many ways to remember their
salient points. One of the most effective ways to get the most out of a
book is to mark it up. There is no standard way to mark up a text, but
below are a few ways that students have found effective in marking up a
textbook so that one can see the important points quickly, make it more
memorable, and make it easy to pick up years later and re-acquaint
oneself with the major


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New habit today

12 January 2006

Blogger John Richardson says an alternative to an avalanche of New Year’s resolutions is to commit to one new habit a month throughout the year.

Each month of this year develop one new habit. Make it simple and doable. At the end of each month decide on a new “habit? for the next month and continue doing the existing habit. At the end of the year 12 habits will be developed. All of these habits will be written down and be simple enough that I can verify if they have been done. Experts say that most actions take at least 21 days to become “habits? so a month should be ample time for it to become routine.

The key to developing new habits is to make them trackable actions. For example, instead of resolving to “drink more water,? John says he started drinking two quarts of water a day – a specific and measurable goal.