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GTD, Reading, & Managers: Top Posts from 2016

GTD, Reading, & Managers: Top Posts from 2016

I know. I know. It’s another one of those obligatory year-in-review posts. Hey, why not. It’s actually a nice change of pace. It’s a little easier to write about your posts than it is to write the posts themselves. Besides, I’ve blogged on and off for years and I don’t think I’ve ever written one of these.

I dug into the analytics for my site for 2016 to see what posts received the most traffic. There’s no fancy math involved. I simply looked at “unique visitors” to see which posts garnered the most attention. Here are the results.

5 Leadership Tasks You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less

5 Leadership Tasks You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less

Leadership takes discipline…the discipline to think outside yourself and do things that lift up, encourage, empower, or benefit those on your team.

Everyday you have small chunks of time that might otherwise seem unproductive. They are not large enough to tackle major leadership tasks on your todo list, but they can still be utilized to encourage and empower your organization.

10 Productivity Tips That Will Save You Time This Week and in the Future

10 Productivity Tips That Will Save You Time This Week and in the Future

More than tools, or tips, or tricks, productivity is a discipline. A discipline of establishing a trusted system for getting things done and actually using it.

And like any discipline, you need constant reinforcement. You need to remind yourself of the key elements that make it work as well as exposure to new ideas that might help your productivity continue to move forward.

Here are ten productivity tips that you should review and add to regularly. Pull this list out monthly and review it. You need to remind yourself of the first three items so you don’t develop bad habits. And the remaining seven are never one-and-done, but rather items that grow, change, and build over time.

Leadership, Productivity, and My Vegetable Garden

Leadership, Productivity, and My Vegetable Garden

It happens every summer. No matter how good our intentions or how disciplined we are, at some point our vegetable garden gets away from us.

We know what we are supposed to do. Fertilize it by working in rich, organic material into the soil. Plant it. Water it. And keep the weeds out. If we do these basic things, we will have a decent harvest.

But too often we get distracted. We give it good attention in the few weeks after we plant it. But at some point during the summer, we just let it do it’s thing. Fortunately for us, we live in a part of the country where once your garden is established, watering isn’t usually an issue.

In our defense, this is not intentional. And we often have an excuse. Kids and family activities often take up a good portion of the weekend when we would normally give our garden attention. In fact it usually happens when we are away on vacation. But at some point, the garden goes crazy.

My Trusted System for Getting Things Done

My Trusted System for Getting Things Done

If you are not familiar with this term, where in the world have you been! A trusted system is your method for managing your tasks (open loops) in such away that you consistently get things done.

David Allen literally wrote the book on Getting Things Done. If you have not read the book, it is definitely worth it. I read the 2001 edition, but there is an updated version for 2015. Even if you read the original, it may be worth buying the new version as there are so many more available GTD tools today. Many of which are designed around David Allen’s GTD philosophy.

Let me be clear, this is a post about personal productivity. I am not talking about a system for managing team oriented projects.

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
― David Allen

The basic premise of a trusted system is that it allows you to account for all your “open loops” – those things you need to do, calls you need to make, projects you need to follow up on, including items that are well in the future that you need to remember at the appropriate time. Once in your trusted system, you don’t have to worry about forgetting them and your mind can relax. A trusted system includes behaviors (like regularly reviewing your “inbox,” “waiting,” and “next actions” lists) and tools (your chosen methods or applications for each).