I have learned 3 things about getting good work done:
There is no magic app: My lack of productivity was never down to a missing app, or not implementing Dave Allen’s GTD system correctly, or not having the right colour pens and post-it notes. I have everything I need to be productive with a keyboard and a text editor (I write).
Willpower is weak: I have good willpower days (few) and bad willpower days (many). Willpower depends on a good nights sleep, an absence of urgent messes to deal with, nobody letting me down and the Irish rugby team delivering a stunning performance. These days are rare, and the likely self-flagellation and frustration from feeling like I am an especially lazy human being are very painful. Willpower doesn’t work over the long term.
Triggers matter: Instead of storing my good intentions inside my head, I write them down and put them around me. Instead of waiting for motivation, I have a list of people to call who will leave me inspired after 5 minutes of conversation. Instead of rethinking every day why I do this, I have a 1 page description of why my work matters. I write blog posts when I see my blog window open. I write in my notebook when I see it with a pen next to it on my desk.
I wrote a long series of posts on Productivity back in early 2014, with a tongue-in-cheek inspiration from my favourite childhood movie. Here’s the full list of posts.
Published Jedi Productivity Posts
- Jedi Productivity Presentation
- Jedi Productivity 11 of 11: We need you. The Jedi must Prevail over the Evil Empire and why you matter
- Jedi Productivity 10 of 11: ”Luke! you switched off your targeting computer!” making time for yourself
- Jedi Productivity 9 of 11: Yoda’s first rule: Do or do not, there is no try
- Jedi Productivity 8 of 11: How the Death Star commander runs his Hyper-effective Meetings
- Jedi Productivity 7 of 11: R2D2, C3PO and the Power of Delegation
- Jedi Productivity 6 of 11: “Use the phone Luke…” Master the telephone
- Jedi Productivity 5 of 11: Han Solo’s guide to Getting on top of the Email Inbox (a.k.a. Jabba the Hutt)
- Jedi Productivity 4 of 11: Obi-Wan’s guide to say “No”, (these are not the droids you are looking for…)
- Jedi Productivity 3 of 11: Deal with Darth Vader’s Evil “Urgent” Interruptions
- Jedi Productivity 2 of 11: The Emperor’s guide to Goal Setting and the 20 Mile March (LT, ST, habits)
- Jedi Productivity 1 of 11: Obi-Wan says “Be Systematic” if you want Productivity (and balance)