Where do you add the most value?
GTD is a system for organizing and acting on the work that matters most. There are a lot of nuances to the system, and as a result many people get lost in the weeds and intricate details and get off track and stop utilizing it altogether. That's unfortunate, because there are many principles that can be borrowed from GTD and acted upon, even if you don't use the entire system.
It’s noisy. Not physically noisy, but culturally noisy.
Everyone is clamoring for attention, and clanging their gongs trying to win a few seconds of your precious time. Clickbait, shock tactics, and distractions are so commonplace that they are now used even by previously “credible” institutions. It’s tempting to follow suit and fall into these tactics with your own work. Don't do it.
Winning is often a game of percentages. Practice and hone your skills through unnecessary creation, follow your instincts for opportunity, and don’t be afraid to take shots and miss.
With the increase of information crossing your attention span each day, it's easy to forget even the most impactful experiences. Make every effort to capture these, and to ensure that they become a valuable part of your creative process.
Many people allow their life to become cluttered with passive yes's, not active ones. They are living with a decision they made months or years ago, and are not making the effort to re-visit whether it's still the right decision. Sometimes you have to say "no" in order to re-focus your efforts.
Last week, I had the chance to chat with Erica Dhawan, who is co-author of the new book Get Big Things Done. The book is about the age of connectedness, and how we can now accomplish things previously unattainable if we leverage "connectional intelligence".
If you want to remain productive, and you want to have ideas when you need them most, then the kinds of stimuli you allow into your mind are important. Because creativity is essentially the combining of existing pieces of inspiration in your environment into something new, the quality and relevance of inputs will often directly affect your creative output, thus either propelling you forward or impeding your progress.
Many of us lack the kind of latitude over our schedule that we’d like to have, but all of us have some discretion about how we spend our time. The best way to prevent distractions and make steady progress on your most important work is to dedicate predictable time to it.
Don’t be lulled into the idea that being busy and making progress is necessarily going to net you a win. You have to be intentional and deliberate about your activity, and you have to be willing to sprint when the occasion calls for it.
Simply changing your circumstances or your productivity system might inject a measure of energy into your work and give you a boost for a short while, but that increase in output will be short-lived if you aren’t committed to an outcome.