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Getting Things Done. Personal Productivity. At your tables: Share approaches to personal productivity that have worked for you Record the most useful tips on flipchart. Good Time Management.

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Personal productivity
Personal Productivity

At your tables:

  • Share approaches to personal productivity that have worked for you

  • Record the most useful tips on flipchart

Good time management
Good Time Management

  • Understanding and accepting one’s own natural style of time management (especially if it differs from experts)

  • Realizing when we need to use ways other than our habitual ones (and to recognize to do so may require some conscious effort)

  • Understanding and accepting others’ time management “preferences” and how they may be complementary with or in conflict with our own.

    • Taking responsibility for managing what’s irritating to others and “negotiating” time management practices that work for both of us.

Time management approaches
Time Management Approaches

  • Steven Covey: First Things First

  • Jim Loehr: Power of Full Engagement

  • David Allen: Getting Things Done

Personal productivity training
Personal Productivity Training

With your like-type partners, discuss:

  • What are the difficulties you encounter in the way you organize your work that keep you from being as productive as you would like to be?

Gtd balance and relaxation clearing your mind and being flexible
GTD - Balance and relaxationClearing your mind and being flexible

Two objectives:

  • Capturing all the things that need to get done into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind

  • Disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” you let into your life so that you will always have a plan for “next actions” that you can implement or renegotiate at any moment

Managing commitments basic requirements
Managing Commitments: Basic Requirements

If it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear – capture it in a system outside your mind

You must clarify what your commitment is and what you have to do, if anything, to make progress

Once you’ve decided on all the actions, keep them organized in a system you review regularly

Managing commitments
Managing Commitments


  • Write down the project or situation that is most on your mind at this moment

  • Describe in a single written sentence your intended successful outcome for this project or situation

  • Write down the very next physical action required to move the situation forward

Knowledge work
Knowledge Work

  • You have to think about your stuff more than you realize but not as much as you’re afraid you might

Why things are on your mind
Why things are on your mind

  • You have not clarified exactly what the intended outcome is

  • You have not decided what the very next physical action step is; and/or

  • You have not put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust

Managing action
Managing Action

Horizontal Action Management:

  • Getting current on and in control of what’s in your in-basket and your mind right now. Frees you up for…

    Vertical Action Management:

  • Project Planning -- Thinking up and down the track of individual topics and projects

5 stages of mastering workflow
5 Stages of Mastering Workflow

  • Collect things that command our attention

  • Process what they mean and what to do about them

  • Organize the results, which we…

  • Review as options for what we choose to…

  • Do

Collection success factors
Collection Success Factors

  • Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your head

  • You must have as few collection buckets as you can get by with

  • You must empty them regularly





What is it?


Someday/ maybe

{ticker file; hold for review}

Is it actionable?




Multistep projects



{retrievable when required}

What’s the next action?

Project plans

{review for actions}

Will it take less than 2 minutes?



Do it

Defer it

Delegate it


{to do at a specific time}

Next actions

{to do as soon as I can}


{got someone else to do}


  • Process the items you have collected (decide what each thing means, specifically)

  • If it is not actionable – toss it, “tickle” it for possible later action, or file it as reference


  • If it is not actionable – decide the very next physical action”

    • do (if less than two minutes),

    • delegate (and tack on “waiting for” list), or

    • defer (put on an action reminder list or in an action folder).

    • If one action will not close the loop, then identify the commitment as a “project” and put it on a reminder list of projects.





What is it?


Someday/ maybe

{ticker file; hold for review}

Is it actionable?




Multistep projects


{retrievable when required}


What’s the next action?

Project plans

{review for actions}

Will it take less than 2 minutes?



Do it

Delegate it

Defer it


{to do at a specific time}

Next actions

{to do as soon as I can}


{got someone else to do}


The four action categories are:

  • Projects – projects you have a commitment to finish

  • Calendar – actions that must occur on a specific day or time

  • Next Actions – actions to be done as soon as possible

  • Waiting For – projects and actions other are supposed to be doing, which you care about


  • Add sub-categories of these lists if it makes them easier to use (calls, errands, at home, etc.)

  • Add lists of longer horizon goals and values that influence you

  • Add checklists that may be useful as needed (job description, event trigger lists, org charts, etc.)

  • Maintain a general reference filing system for information and materials that have no action, but which need to be retrievable

  • Maintain an “on-hold” system for triggers of possible actions at later dates

  • Maintain support information files for projects as needed


Most frequently:

  • Calendar

  • Next Actions list

Critical success factor the weekly review
Critical Success Factor:The Weekly Review

  • Gather and process all your “stuff”

  • Review your system

  • Update your lists

  • Get clear, clear, current, and complete


  • Review calendar and action lists daily (or whenever you could possibly do any of them)

  • Conduct a customized weekly review to get clean, get current, and get creative (see Weekly Review)

  • Review the longer-horizon lists of goals, values, and visions as often as required to keep your project list complete and current

Do choosing actions in the moment
Do: Choosing Actions in the Moment

Four Criteria:

  • Context

  • Time available

  • Energy available

  • Priority


  • Stay flexible by maintaining a “total life” action reminder system, always accessible for review, trusting your intuition in moment-to-moment decision-making

  • Choose to:

    • Do work you have previously defined or

    • Do work as it appears or

    • Take time to define your work

  • Ensure the best intuitive choices by consistent regular focus on priorities. Revisit and recalibrate your commitments at appropriate intervals for the various levels of life and work.

Mastering workflow exercise
Mastering Workflow Exercise


  • Pull out the list of all the stuff that is currently in your “in-basket”. Consider the Collecting step – is there anything you would add to your list?

    In Pairs/trios

  • Go over each person’s “in-basket”

  • Select 1-2 items and walk each one through the Processing and Organizing Stages

  • Briefly discuss how you might use the Do: choosing actions in the moment to move forward

Practicing stress free productivity
Practicing Stress-Free Productivity

  • You increase your productivity and creativity exponentially when you think of the right things at the right time and have the tools to capture your value-added thinking

Practicing stress free productivity1
Practicing Stress-Free Productivity

  • Getting Started: Setting up the Time, Space and Tools

  • Corralling your Stuff

  • Processing: Getting ‘In’ to Empty

  • Organizing: How to Make it Work

Stress free productivity task
Stress-Free Productivity Task

  • Review pages 20-22 that includes tips for stress-free productivity

    • Note any questions you have

    • Star 2-3 tips that stand out for you as particularly helpful


  • Paper-holding trays

  • Plain paper

  • Post-its, staplers, clips, etc…

  • The Labeler

  • File Folders

  • Calendar

  • Wastebasket/recycling bins

Success factors for filing
Success Factors for Filing

  • Maintain your own personal, at-hand filing system

  • One Alpha system

  • Have lots of fresh folders

  • Keep the drawer less than ¾ full

  • Use an auto labeler

  • Get high-quality mechanics

  • Get rid of hanging files if you can – if you can’t - use one file folder per hanger

Corralling your stuff
Corralling your Stuff

Mental gathering – the mind sweep:

  • Write out each thought, idea project or thing that has you attention – on a separate piece of paper

    Complete your sweep:

  • Print out each task you have in your e-mail, Lotus Organizer, or on voicemail

Processing getting in to empty
Processing: Getting “In” to empty

  • Trash what you don’t need

  • Complete any less-than-two-minute actions

  • Hand off to others anything that can be delegated

  • Sort into your organizing system reminders of actions that take more than two minutes

  • Identify any larger commitments (projects) you now have, based on the input

Organizing setting up the right buckets
Organizing: Setting up the right buckets

  • A “Projects” list

  • Project support material

  • Calendared actions and information

  • “Next Actions” lists

  • A “Waiting For” list

  • Reference material

  • A “Someday/Maybe” list

Managing e mail based workflow
Managing E-mail Based Workflow

  • Get “In” to “Empty”:

    • “do” less than two-minutes

    • Delete what you can

    • File what you want to keep

  • Set up folders on your navigator bar – mostly for reference or archived stuff

  • Create one folder for longer-than-two minute action e-mails – at top of bar:

    • Use the “-” in Lotus or [email protected] Outlook

    • “-Action”; “-Waiting For”

    • File using “Send and File” in Lotus Notes

Organizing nonactionable data
Organizing Nonactionable Data
















  • The tickler file:

Reviewing keeping your system functional
Reviewing:Keeping your system functional

A few seconds a day is usually all you need for review, as long as you’re looking at the right things at the right time

Five phases of project planning
Five Phases of Project Planning

  • Defining purpose and principles

  • Outcome visioning

  • Brainstorming

  • Organizing

  • Identifying next actions

Defining purpose and principles
Defining purpose and principles

Purpose: Ask the “why” question

  • Often the only way to make a hard decision is to come back to the purpose

    Principles: Standards and Values you hold

  • Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior

Outcome visioning
Outcome Visioning

The “what” question:

  • View the project from beyond the completion date

  • Envision “WILD SUCCESS”! (Suspend “Yeah, but…”)

  • Capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place

    • I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific - Lily Tomlin


The “How” question:

Capture your ideas – mind-mapping and other techniques. Keys:

  • Don’t judge, challenge, evaluate or criticize

  • Go for quantity, not quality

  • Put analysis and organization in the background


  • Identify the significant pieces

  • Sort by (one ore more):

    • Components

    • Sequences

    • Priorities

  • Detail to the required degree

Identifying next actions
Identifying Next Actions

  • Decide on next actions for each of the current moving parts of the project

  • Decide on the next action in the planning process, if necessary

Project planning
Project Planning

  • Shift the level of focus on the project, if needed

    • If your project needs more clarify, raise the level of your focus

    • If your project needs more to be happening, lower the level of your focus

  • How much planning is required?

    • If the project is off your mind, planning is sufficient

    • If it’s still on your mind, then more is needed

Project planning1
Project Planning

In your team

  • Assess the extent to which you are using the 5 phases of project planning:

    • Which ones are you using effectively?

    • Which ones could you be using more effectively – and how?

Individual task
Individual Task

  • Review the description of the implications of your type for management of time and note those aspects that seem to be “you.”

  • What are some of the challenges for your type for managing time well?

  • What are the strategies that work well for you with respect to time management?

Join others with whom you work
Join others with whom you work…

  • Share your reflections about your type and time management.

  • Agree with one another about one or two commitments you will make to be more effective at ‘getting things done.’

  • Be prepared to share your commitments.