Four Hour WorkWeek – Take 1

hammock

I have amassed a huge reading list in the past few weeks and although I have quite a growing list on the back of the toilet, I couldn’t resist buying the Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.  Having heard of this book for a few months it was time to investigate into all that I had heard.  While I’m 80 pages in, I must say I’m very impressed.

I’ve started logging some great quotes and ideas into my Moleskine to remember, but the one that strikes me as the most relevant for the day involves what Ferris calls Parkinson’s Law.  The law is defined as “a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”  Ferris demonstrates a large college assignment and due to a last minute problem he was forced to rewrite the paper in under 24 hours.  Despite the stress and pressue, he completed a 30 page paper and received an A.

I self-reflected at this point due to my procrastination.  At times it serves me well because I work well under pressure and having very finite timelines.  I don’t think Ferris is advocating procrastination, but by setting a finite timeline, the outcome can be achieved and even done so in exemplary fashion.  What a great concept!  More to come…

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It Can Happen To You…

It can happen to anyone – you’re waist deep in your GTD program.  You’ve perused all of the online software and whether its web-based or not, you decide on what you need.  You purchase your note cards, your filing system, your labelmaker, your Moleskine and any number of other doo-dads as you undertake your Getting Things Done initiative.  The weeks go by and you’re faithful to your weekly review.  You feel free.  And then it happens. One week you’re out of town the latter part and didn’t think on how to re-schedule your Weekly Review.  Worse yet, you’re out of town the second week in a row and then all of a sudden you feel like a 7 year old who can’t swim, but was just tossed into the deep end.  Your breathing quickens, your arms start flailing and you realize you’re not as good at this as you thought. If anyone has ever been there where life takes you from the norm and you struggle to get back to the mid-line, drop a comment.    

Moleskine (try to pronounce that!)

Finally, it’s time to post a little on one of my favorite topics, GTD – or as those in the dark would know it – Getting Things Done.  A wise and controversial man by the name of David Allen wrote a book many years ago called “Getting Things Done.”  If you’ve not read it yet and are interested in productivity, put your keyboard down and run to the nearest bookstore.  A few years ago I sat at my desk in utter despair.  I was surrounded by projects, cast into chaos at the sheer number of items I needed to get done to make my life more prosperous.  With emails and voicemails by the 100’s, life was stressed to say the least.  Like you I suffered through, somehow surviving, but wondering what was the secret that so many others must have had in their arsenal to get them by.  GTD is the answer for me.  And we could blog on and on about GTD as many do.  But, let’s start with a simple tool.The themed picture for this blog entry is the Moleskine, a basic tool for most GTD’ers.  GTD teaches that you must clear your head of all ideas, tasks, projects, events, etc.  You feel less stress once you get these items out of your head and onto paper so that you can refer to them later in life.  I strongly concur!  For $15-$20 a Moleskine can be yours, or if you prefer a cheaper route, your local Target has a lower priced version that I’ve used as well.A Moleskine has about 100 pages or more, depending on the size.  The paper is nice to the touch and many who use them comment on the sensory experience of writing in them given the right pen.  I like others have used the Pilot G-2 when writing and it completes the experience altogether.  Odd blog here, you may say, but try it and you’ll know what I’m talking about.Subsequent blogs will discuss this topic.  In the meantime, capture your thoughts, your dreams, your ideas, your tasks onto paper before your forget them.  Don’t rely on your brain so much.  You owe it a break.