Accelerating change with personal sprints

Drawing inspiration from sprints, I wanted to see what would happen if I did a personal reflection every month instead of waiting for a whole year to pass before checking in with my resolutions. I wanted to see how my life would change if I had a clear focus and achieved a goal each month, instead of setting and forgetting my goals each year.

Personal Sprints: Applying Design Thinking to Your Life – Praxis

This idea definitely grabbed my attention and its something I have scheduled to test in the coming months.

Don’t just get organised

When most people sit down to write one of those lists, they are actually trying to combine at one time all five of the phases we have defined for mastering workflow: collect, process, organize, review, and do. They are simultaneously attempting to grab things out of their mind, decide what they mean, arrange them in some logical or meaningful fashion, jumping immediately to an evaluation of each against each other and deciding what they need to do “most importantly.” One is usually rewarded with a short-term payoff of the crisis of confusion relieved, but left with still a vague sense of gnawing vulnerability to what’s uncaptured, unprocessed, unorganized, unseen, and underestimated.

Why Getting Organized Usually Hasn’t Worked

Components of personal productivity

Plan: Identify what matters. I do this daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.
Act: Focus on and do what matters.
Rest: Sleeping, relaxing, relationships, entertainment.
Think: Let my brain wonder, noodle, etc.
Review: Check in with where I’m at and what I’ve been doing. I do this daily, weekly, monthly, annually.
Move: Get out of my head and into my body. (Moving and exercising is about more than physical health, it is also a huge booster for thinking and creativity.)

A Look at My Hybrid Productivity Method — Using Both Analog and Digital for Task Management – The Sweet Setup

Accomplish more

Few quotes I picked up from

The Art of the Finish: How to Go From Busy to Accomplished

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the act of becoming accomplished is almost entirely unrelated to being productive

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If you are productive without harboring this intense desire for completion, you will end up just being busy. [..] You work all day off of your to-do list. Everything is organized. Everything is scheduled. Yet, still, months pass with no important projects getting accomplished.

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With traditional GTD-style methodology, during each day, you look at your current context and at your next action lists and choose what to do next. It’s easy, in this case, to fall into a infinite task loop where you are consistently accomplishing little actions from your next action lists but making little progress toward completing the big projects.

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Each morning, look at your project page and ask: “What’s the most progress I can make toward completing this list today?” Your biggest goal should be to complete projects. If you see a way to do it (even if it requires a big push, perhaps working late) go for it. If you can’t finish one, think of the single thing you could do that would get you closest to this goal over the next few days. Harbor an obsession for killing this list!

Writing and productivity links

[Productivity] serves the same psychological role that busyness has always served: to keep us sufficiently distracted that we don’t have to ask ourselves potentially terrifying questions about how we are spending our days.  – Oliver Burkeman

Why time management is ruining our lives

Zen To Done (ZTD): The Simple Productivity System

Tim Harford — Article — Three great books about getting the important things done

Ritholtz: Why I Write – The Big Picture

The Benefits of Writing

Why I Love Writing About the Markets