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Bob VL

Jill - You are a HOOT ! It took you two hours to "stumble upon" a solution to "wasting " two hours a day!

He writes about how you can put more time back in your day. Clearly this is a universal problem and I needed to share his insights with others. So I decided to write a blog post about it.

Ha Ha - I am LOL! OK, I have to go now, and put more time back in my morning !

Jan Visser

There are a few other approaches to personal productivity, a popular one being David Allen's Getting Things Done, which is based on the philosophy of assigning tasks (to-do's) to a specific "context" (ie calls to make, while I am at my computer, while I am at the office) and which dictates a fairly strict workflow when processing incoming items. It's a pretty easy to follow approach that, if you do it consistently, yields immediate benefits.

But there you have it. You have to pick a system (whatever system) and do it consistently. A lot of the ideas and suggestions handed to us by the various approaches are in concept fairly obvious. Most people *know* it's a bad habit to let the "incoming mail" beep pull you to your inbox - yet many people do. Most sales people know it's not a particularly good thing to spend the time before 8 and after 5 doing email or browse the web while enjoying a cup of coffee, while that's probably the only time you have a chance to get around your prospects' voicemail, yet I've seen many do it.

I'd be very interested in hearing your ideas on why do people fail at implementing a personal productivity strategy. With all these tools, systems, approaches and techniques available, why do we still see what we see?



You gotta be ruthless with e-mail. If it's not urgent, mark it as unread and deal with it later. Better yet, don't turn on your e-mail until 11:00 AM.



Jill Konrath

Jan, I'm a terrible person to be commenting on implementing a personal productivity system. But then again, you asked why people failed at this and I can give you a hundred reasons ...

- The tyranny of the urgent
- Rewards from putting out fires
- Avoidance of distasteful need-to-do tasks
- Difficulty "getting into" the flow
- Dislike of constraints of systems
- The sheer overwhelmingness of more important tasks.

In order for me to be "really" productive, I need to physically remove myself from the office and go to a location where I can only do what needs to be done.

What do the rest of you do to improve productivity?

Jonathan Farrington


I discovered the "Ivy Lee" system about twenty years ago, no doubt you are familiar with it, but maybe some of your readers will not be: It is living proof that most times, simple is best!



Ed McLean

Great points Jill. Using the methodology Getting Things Done really did transform the way I work. I combine it with some great software called MyLife Organized on my PC and PPC.

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