Productivity


19
Oct 12

Focus

I meditated for the first time.

Wow.

I sat upright, relaxed and comfortably on the sofa, hands on thighs, arms and shoulders loose, feet flat on the floor. I set a timer for five minutes, closed my eyes and I was off.

I focused only on my breathing. In, out, in, out. Only through my nose. In, out, in, out. My mind tried to wander off onto things like the meetings I had scheduled, the emails I needed to write, the projects to check, but I smiled and gently brought myself back to my breathing…. in, out, in, out.

The alarm went off and I was shocked! Was that it? That was five minutes? Continue reading →


23
Jun 12

Do One Thing at a Time

I work in the IT industry and we are obsessed with multi-tasking. Perhaps we look at the processors that power our computers and devices, and assume that emulating them is how we can be most productive and effective. ‘Ability to multi-task’ appears on many job announcements, and juggling or having a lot of balls in the air is considered a good thing, enviable even. But what exactly do we mean by multi-tasking?

Computer processors (CPUs) don’t multi-task. Instead, they simulate parallelism by reducing tasks to a collection of tiny nano-instructions and them executing them really, really fast. And CPUs are really good at switching between tasks efficiently. This gives the appearance that many different tasks are moving forward simultaneously. But the truth is that, at any one time, only one instruction for one task is being executed; only one thing is getting done. [Note that you can substitute ‘core’ for CPU if you know what that means]

And doing one thing at a time is OK, especially for people. Continue reading →


27
May 11

GTD Gone Wild

I’m a big fan of GTD, the collection of productivity ideas put forth by David Allen in his book: Getting Things Done, How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity.

More than a year ago, I implemented GTD at work using David’s book and the GTD Outlook add-in from Netcentrics, and overall was very pleased with the result. My inbox was kept empty, activities and projects moved forward at work and at home, and I generally got more done and was less stressed – at least about managing the tidal wave of attention-demanding ‘noise’.

Continue reading →