Maximize Productivity #2: Forced Efficiency

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This is my second post in a series in which I will show you how to maximize productivity by combining GTD with other powerful time management techniques. The other posts in this series are listed at the end of this entry.

Today’s tip for maximizing productivity comes from Brian Tracy once again and introduces the law of forced efficiency. I will show you a list of 4 questions that – when answered clearly and honestly – will provide insight in the most important activities you should be doing. Finally, I will show you how to use the law of forced efficiency to extend the power of GTD.

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Work Better Without Distraction

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Do you experience certain times in your (home) office where you just don’t seem to be able to get things done? You get distracted by co-workers, interrupted by telephone calls or sidetracked by browsing the internet and responding to incoming e-mails. All of this is keeping you from writing that proposal or making some real progress on that important project!

I certainly have had (and will have) this experience of getting distracted by a million little things. However, in my attempts to minimize these inproductive situations, I discovered 5 simple rules for working better without distraction.

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Maximize Productivity: Make a Decision

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In this post (and future posts) I will show you how to maximize productivity by combining GTD with other powerful time management techniques.

To really get things done in my personal and professional life, I am constantly and successfully applying the principles of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology.

Whenever I can, I combine or enhance my GTD “framework” with other time management principles and techniques. One specific source of inspiration for this is Brian Tracy and his books about, for instance, success and productivity.

In this post (and upcoming posts) I will first share some principles and techniques that I learned from Brian Tracy. I will also discuss the power and effectiveness of combining these productivity techniques with GTD.

Today’s productivity tip: Make a decision.

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Following the GTD Meme

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In much less than a day after starting my GTD meme about “Your Killer GTD Setup”, I promptly received the first 3 contributions from Jennifer George, Stephen Smith and Jeroen Sangers. Thank you very much, guys!

I’m (ab)using this post to keep an up-to-date list of published articles as the meme continues (I hope!). So, you’d better tag this post on del.icio.us or something similar to keep informed about all the interesting GTD setups that GTDers from all over the world use!

Read on to see the current list of contributions to my GTD meme!

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Massive Productivity Interview

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Mark Shead of Productivity501 recently asked a large group of productivity experts/bloggers 3 interesting questions. I was fortunate enough to participate in this interview.

The answers to the 3 questions are compiled by Mark into 3 separate blog posts and annotated by him:

  1. What is the single biggest way people waste time without even realizing it?
  2. What change has made the most difference in making you effective?
  3. If someone were to read just one post from your site, which would you recommend they read and why?

I am definitely printing and keeping these blog posts, because they contain so many wise words in such a small space! :)

Starting a GTD Meme: Your Killer GTD Setup?

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See also: the list of current contributions to this meme.

GTD MemeIt’s been said that “Curiosity killed the cat”. Well, not for me. I’m a firm believer in “Curiosity educated the cat!”

I don’t know about you, but as a GTDer I’ve always been very curious about other people’s GTD setup. Having switched GTD setups a couple of times myself, I know it can take some time and experimenting to settle on a specific GTD setup that is most suited to you. To save time, money and effort, I think we can all learn from each other’s GTD setup!

Every time I hear, read or preferably see something about somebody else’s GTD setup, I learn something new. It either gives me an idea for my own GTD setup, or it makes my belief in my own trusted GTD system stronger. By the way, a good GTD setup is not just tools to me. It is a combination of good habits supported by the right tools.

In order to make everybody benefit from your experiences and the choices that led up to your current GTD setup, I am starting a GTD meme here about your killer GTD setup. Read on to find out how to participate!

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10 Questions for Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net

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ZenHabits.netEver since I started blogging about productivity/GTD myself, I have been a big fan of Leo Babauta and his blog ZenHabits.net. With his daily, very useful blog posts about setting and achieving goals, his blog has gained an impressive amount of faithful readers (almost 10,000 as of today) in only 6 months!

Successfully implementing good habits is a main theme of his blog. Productivity and David Allen’s Getting Things Done are topics that are frequently discussed on ZenHabits.net. Leo is an experienced GTDer and has reached the point that he even modified GTD into his own methodology, which he calls Zen To Done (ZTD). He has also made some impressive changes in his life in only a couple of years, which is very inspiring to read about.

Leo was recently interviewed by Nneka of Balanced Life Center, which provided some useful insights in who he is and why he does what he does. However, it didn’t completely satisfy my curiosity about him; I was particularly interested in his habits and principles concerning productivity in general and GTD/ZTD more specifically.

Leo was kind enough to indulge my curiosity and answer my 10 main questions for the interview you will find below. It was hard to stick with only 10 questions because there are so many things I would like to know about him. Being the highly productive and kind person that he is, Leo responded quickly and enthusiastically!

I want to thank Leo for his time and for his patience while answering my avalanche of questions. To learn even more about Leo and his inspirational articles, I highly recommend adding his RSS feed to your favorite feed reader and of course visit his site frequently.

Read on for the full interview with Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net!

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Really Del.icio.us!

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Del.icio.usAlmost straight from the start of this blog (Jan 1, 2007) I have added the possibility of tagging my blog posts on del.icio.us. I thought it would be interesting to see which particular blog posts were tagged the most on del.icio.us (i.e. [arguably] the most popular posts on this blog) and to see whether it matches my site statistics from Google Analytics.

To start with the latter: yes, the top 7 most viewed articles according to Analytics are more or less also the ones that are tagged the most on del.icio.us.

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GTD Tumblelog

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TumblrI recently discovered something called a tumblelog and an online service that offers these tumblelogs for free. So, I decided to start my own tumblelog to accompany this blog, where I will put everything concerning productivity/GTD that could be interesting to my readers (and to myself of course) but doesn’t warrant a full blog post (yet). This could be a hyperlink, a photo, a quote or whatever.

If you’re interested then check out my tumblelog at http://gettingthingsdone.tumblr.com and/or add it to your favorite RSS feed reader to keep informed about new additions.