Tag: <span>Getting Things Done</span>

Stuck. Paused. Diverted.

I have a couple of new projects to work on, a couple of projects that are stuck at the “hard bits” (both in theory and in workload) and I’m managing to avoid them all at the moment. Filling my time researching, taking care of other small tasks.

I’m partway through “Getting Things Done” and have considered that it is because I’m not sure how to progress the projects, and that I have many other minor distractions, that I’m putting them off. For one of the new projects I’m hoping to use some of the techniques suggested in the book – one of the techniques suggests a two day downtime whilst you get yourself sorted, I’m hoping to be in that position next week.

It could be a bad case of AADD, acquired Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder, which brings with it the problem of a constant state of partial distraction. No matter how focussed I think I am on a project, it’s a constant battle not to check emails or news feeds, not to start the brainstorming for that other project, not to stop and put the bin out or bring the clothes in from the line. I’d offer more on this but, you know, CBATG.

I usually combat this state by working at home. Conversely (perversely?) for me I find I’m more comfortable here, have fewer distractions and so can get more work done. However the more I think about… hang on… bloody car alarms.. where was I?

Oh yes, the more I think about HOW I work at home, the more I realise that, whilst I do tend to produce more output when I’m at home, I do still have many distractions (car alarms withstanding) but when I’m here I can at least action them. There is very little point in remembering to take the washing in whilst I’m sat in the office.

So I have done what everyone does when they have many things to accomplish, I’ve started a list. However instead of listing all the things that are in my line of sight at the moment, I’ve only listed the most important two. Yes, two.

You should see the list of distractions though…

Personal Musings

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Oh dear, I can see that “Getting Things Done” is going to be the focus of my attention for a while. Already I’m thinking of little bits and bobs I can do, least of all better processing of my email.

The 43 Folders site is going to an excellent resource for me as I work through this book, but here’s a quick tech tip (well, more a sales pitch?) for anyone using Windows. Get Outlook 2003. You can easily flag emails (one click) and assigned different colours. Outlook then displays a “to be actioned” folder automatically, containing any that are flagged, perfect for those, to be done at some point emails.

Mind you, the only downside to reading this book is that it’s.. er.. stopping me getting things done as I’m racing through it. Quid pro quo, I guess.

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Saturday I had a lie-in. Lounged around all day, watched football, X-Men 2 and pretty much did nothing. The most challenging aspect of Saturday was deciding when to go to the toilet. It was a much needed lazy lazy day after the last couple of weeks at work. That and I’d had a tickle at the back of my throat for a couple of days and figured I was fighting a small bug.

Sunday and with the blue skies calling us we headed out into the garden. I dug over a small area at the front of the house, ready to replant some Montbretia. However that was about it for me, I pottered around a little, then we stopped for lunch after which I fell asleep on the sofa for two hours. My darling wife left me sleeping and cut the grass!

My parents came over for dinner and I decided to take a couple of days off work.

Today I’ve been out in the garden, a little weeding, splitting and moving the Montbretia and more pottering about. Very pleasant.

I stopped at about 4pm and wandered to the bookcase as I’m currently without book. What do I spy there? Getting Things Done, the very book I mentioned on Friday. So I’ve started that AND The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, as I’ll need a literary distraction as well as a productivity “bible”.

Not entirely sure what I’ll do tomorrow, depends on the weather although the forecast isn’t good. I’ve a few things to tackle but I’ll make a decision tomorrow, once I see what kind of mood I’m in.

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Or “The advantage of tabbed browsing”.

Before I start this is NOT a pro-Firefox post but I will be mentioning it as it’s my browser of choice. There are other browser that offer tabbed browsing.

Anyway, I was just randomly surfing when a post on Caterina’s site caught my eye. It’s about the book “Getting Things Done” which I’ve seen mentioned at 43 Folders and have on my Amazon wishlist, she links to a particular post on the 43 Folders website that itself contains several related links: a summary of the GTD methodology, a PDF of an annotated workflow of the method, another site with a more Windows based slant on some of the productivity solutions and the website for the man who wrote the book and started the cult of GTD (to uses Caterina’s phrase).

Caterina also mentions her new love for a certain brand of notebook, and offers a link to another blog post about them from where I find a link to a reseller of Caterina’s notebooks of choice and to the oft mentioned moleskin notepads.

Phew.

So why is this particular to tabbed browsing? Because I no longer need to move back and forward (or between open windows) to see the links between these sites as I used to do when attempting something like this using a single browser window (and you techies can keep your semantic definitions of windows to yourself, thank you very much). Maybe a quick screenshot will be better than my attempts to describe this.

Tabs opened in Firefox

It may LOOK confusing but you can follow my surfing thread from left to right, from Caterina through 43 Folders, GTD specific sites, on through David Allen’s site and to the moleskin notebooks.

And THAT, ladies and gentlepeeps (and everyone else inbetween) is why tabbed browsing is a good thing.

Now I just need to find a Firefox extension that will let me produce a list of all open tabs, and their URLs, and I’m a happy, although still knackered, bunny.

(And yes I’m aware of Session Saver but it doesn’t let you generate a list of the tabs stored)

This is all very much an excellent example of how a technology has been mapped to the way people work. Information design, if you will.

Work

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