Great Tools to Boost Your Personal Productivity & Be Creative

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

“You can do anything, but not everything.”
― David Allen

TOC

  1. Introduction
  2. Fundamental principles & rules in my approach.
  3. Software tools
  4. Hardware tools
  5. A few recommended books

 

Introduction

My life changed dramatically after attending a GTD seminar in London – March 3, 2011.

Before that I was constantly stressed out, both at work and home. GTD introduced me to a whole new world, not only the GTD world, but to the world of Personal Productivity & Personal Development. I read about 50 books on subjects like Productivity, Growth, Personnel Development, Motivation, Creativity, etc.. the next 12 moths. I also became a “Black-belt GTDer”, David Allen was my new hero….

Over the last 5 years I´ve tweaked my GTD approach several times. I no longer do everything the GTD way, but it is still a major part of my Personal productivity approach.

This post is not about how (I´ll do a post about that somewhere down the road), but what tools I use. Still, I need to spill a few fundamental principles & rules in my approach.

Continue reading “Great Tools to Boost Your Personal Productivity & Be Creative”

Habit #3 – Habit: Review & Reflection

I recommend running weekly & monthly reviews. I also do a “mid-year” (July) & end-year (late December) review.

My weekly/monthly reviews is based on David Allen’s GTD system, with some modifications:

  1. Get all in-boxes to zero.
    All emails & paper has to be processed, no excuses… use your lists.
  2. Review all calendars: last week & the coming week.
    Be sure that you are in control.
  3. Review your Weekly MIT’s (Most Important Task)
    ————————————————————————-
    Before moving on to the lists, remember to SIMPLIFY.
    Remove everything but the essential projects & tasks.
    Optional: Put them on your Someday/Maybe list.
    ————————————————————————-
  4. Review your action lists.
  5. Review your project lists.
  6. Review your Monthly MIT’s – Monthly Review
  7. Review your someday/maybe lists – Monthly Review
  8. Review your “Reflection document” – Monthly Review
  9. Review all calendears for upcoming month – Monthly Review
  10. Review “Horizon of Focus” (Level 2 & 3) mindmaps – Monthly Review

If you manage to create a habit of doing a weekly review… you will get a “control-boost”.. People feeling in control tend to more happy and content.

David Allen talks about the GTD Weekly Review:

Highly recommended.

GTD & David Allen @ TEDx

When I “found” GTD.. the thing that fascinated me the most was the expression “Mind Like Water“.  It sounded like a dream… was this possible.. could I experience such a peaceful & present state of mind? Off course.. and I actually did from time to time, but not as often as.. & not for as long as I wanted.

“Mind Like Water”.. … perfectly appropriate response to, and engagement with, whatever is present
~David Allen

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders”
Lao Tzu

When you throw a pebble into a pond, what does
the water do?
It responds with total appropriateness to the force
and mass of the rock.
It doesn’t overreact or underreact.
It doesn’t react at all.
It simply interacts with whatever comes to it
and returns to its natural state

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to anything
~Shunryu Suzuki

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who can do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can.. give all our attention to the opportunity before us.
~Mark Van Doren 

There is usually an inverse relationship between the amount something is on your mind and the amount it’s getting done
~David Allen

“Getting Things Done” is NOT about how to be more productive @ work. It’s about how to find peace & being present i life. It’s a “life improvement system”

“Allen’s ideas are nothing short of life-changing”
~Ben Hammersley (The Guardian)

The GTD system was indeed life-changing for me. I will post a lot more about GTD in the future…

Here is David Allen @ TEDx in September 2012:

Let Me give you a little secret… “Getting Things Done” ..is not about getting things done. It’s really about being properly engaged with what’s going on.
Appropriate engagement is the real key here. Many times not getting something done is how to properly engage with it.
~David Allen @ TEDx

David Allen – Getting Things Done

From Wikipedia:

David Allen (born December 28, 1945) is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done” .

He grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana where he acted and won a state championship in debate. He went to college at New College, now New College of Florida, in SarasotaFlorida, and did graduate work in American history at University of California, Berkeley. His career path has included jobs as a magician, waiter, karate teacher, landscaper, vitamin distributor, glass-blowing lathe operator, travel agent, gas station manager, U-Haul dealer, moped salesman, restaurant cook, personal growth trainer, manager of a lawn service company, and manager of a travel agency. He is an ordained minister with the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. He claims to have had 35 professions before age 35. He began applying his perspective on productivity with businesses in the 1980s when he was awarded a contract to design a program for executives and managers at Lockheed.

I really like the book “Getting Things Done” and I have embedded many habits from his system into my life….

Here he is at Google:

Great stuff!