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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Doing the Right Stuff

In the first three posts on personal productivity, based on the First Things First book, I've focused on how to better accomplish my many tasks. 
Click cover to go to Amazon :)

As I was experimenting with my new personal productivity system, I listened to Steven Covey's audio book version of "First Things First."  Covey's seven habits has been a personal favorite for years.  "First Things First" Reviews and extends some of the themes from seven habits.

The short version is - pick the right tasks!  Recall this matrix from the books:
Assuming that we don't have any issues with reacting to Urgent and Important items (quadrant one) or Not Important and Not Uregent items (quadrant four), the challenges lie in quadrants two and three.

To be more sucessful by working on the imporant stuff, Focus on Importand but Not Urgent (quadrant two) activities and avoid Urgent and Not Important (quadrant three) activities.

I don't know if I have the discipline to really avoid urgent requests because they are not important.  I'm trying to let all of my email "age" a bit, to take away some sense of urgency.  I'm not good at ignoring a ringing phone, or an incomming IM.

The important but not urgent is different.  I have added tasks to my personal productivity system to focus on quadrant two activities at least once each week (every Monday).  This was a very nice dovetail with the Getting Things Done stuff.  Adding these tasks to Trello made perfect sense.  Give me a few weeks trial and I'll report my preliminary results.

Getting Things Done is a good read, and well worth the time and cover price.  It also works nicely along with the David Allen "Getting Things Done" book.  I recommend both highly.

Next:  Covey's four cores and 13 behaviors from "First Things First."

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