Getting S— Done In 2013
For those of you who thought I was just kidding about writing blog posts using my old Royal manual typewriter…Well, surprise. The first draft of this blog post is being written just that way.
Man, I had no idea how much I missed that unique sound of those little keys striking paper. It’s been YEARS!
I’ll refer you to my previous post to try and understand the method behind my madness…It was part nostalgia, part need to force myself to better focus in 2013, that brought me to this point. And that is the closest I’ll come to having a New Year’s resolution in 2013.
The next logical question, of course, is okay, Turbo, once you have the post down on paper, then what?
That’s a very good question, and I have not figured that part out just yet.
Most likely, I will use Dragon Dictate to voice enter the second and final draft, and, of course, I won’t do this for every blog post I write, only the ones where I really, really want to focus.
But since what was driving this whole thing was the need to eliminate distractions in hopes of getting more “real” work done, I also wanted to come back to the other topic that has been on my mind lately, and that is multitasking.
That’s another good reason to use a manual typewriter. Not only does it not burn any carbon…It CAN’T do more than one thing at a time, which means *I* can’t do more than one thing at a time.
Every year, at the start of the year, I share with my extended team a “getting stuff done” primer. I lean on the basic precepts found in David Allen’s excellent book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, which, for my money, should be required reading for every knowledge worker in the world.
But I like to keep things simple, so I’m going to share with you the Turbo net net version of GSD (I changed the acronym to reflect my enjoyment of wallowing in the perjorative).
1. Like Santa, make a list of all the stuff you need to do — but check it more than twice.
2. In fact, check it EVERY day, especially at the beginning and end of the day.
3. Scratch out the things you get done as you get them done, and write down the things you want to do as you think of them (including when you need to do them by).
4. Always make note of the things you need to do TOMORROW the night before. Do the same on Friday afternoon for the things you want to do on Monday.
If you follow this simple advice, you will rarely walk into the office and NOT know what it is that you ought to be doing that day.
It may seem ridiculously simple, but it’s a lot harder to put into practice than you might think.
And the other part of the story is, once you have all these things out of your head and down on paper or in your computer: Well, you have to do them.
Which means, you have to stop monitoring your incoming email, waiting for that little bell to ring and giving you that ever-fleeting endorphin high.
You have to stop walking down the hall to your colleague’s cubicle so to compare notes on what’s for lunch.
You have to stop playing Solitaire, or << insert name of game on your work computer >> here.
You have to get back to work and actually…well, you know, WORK!
So, once you’ve made the list, and you’ve listed the stuff you need to do generally in order of when you need to get it done, get to it, one item at a time.
Because multitasking is just another convoluted way of procrastinating.
As Mark Twain told us, ““Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
I found that quote while I was putting off finishing this blog post!
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