Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting More Done — Or Not: A Short Reading List

Juggle icon, from the Noun Project, licensed under Creative Commons

Want some ideas on how to make the most of your time — ideas that don't rely on using the latest and greatest apps, but rather address how we think about managing our time? Here's some of what I've been reading lately that I've found inspiring:

1. 100 Ways to Get More Done, by Ozan Onay and Ash Fontana

I usually hate lists like this — but this one is so well done that it's the exception to my rule. (Thanks to web designer / developer Kevin Henney for the pointer!) I'm picking just one of the 100 items as an example — but I highly recommend the whole list. You probably won't agree with all of the suggestions, and some of them will be irrelevant — but you're likely to find a few real gems, too.
6. Avoid starting work with a nagging emotion or stressful distraction on your mind. If this sounds hard, just internalize the following truism: either you can deal with the matter right now, or you can't. If you can deal with it now then deal with it now. If you can't, then there's no harm in scheduling a later time to worry about it.

Surprisingly, this works no matter how substantial the emotion/stressor. Worried that your partner is being unfaithful, or that the mole on your arm may be cancerous, or that the Soviet Union is building missile bases in Cuba? Set a Remember The Milk task to stress out about it from 7pm to 8pm next Thursday, and get back to work.

2. Haven't Had Time to Blog, by Chris Brogan

This wonderful post is meaningful even to those who aren't bloggers and have no reason to start blogging; you can replace "Blog" with "Read" or "Write My Book" or "Get Organized" or "Exercise" — or anything else you don't feel you have time for. It's a short post, and here's a short excerpt:
I met with someone yesterday who said to me that he didn’t have any time to blog. Moments later, he told me what was happening on “Ice Loves Coco.” ...

We pick our paths. We decide what we make time to do.

3. Make sure you disappoint the right people, by Jon Acuff

Thanks to LeeAnne Jones for pointing me to this one, which has a great opening — and the rest of the post is just as good:
A few weeks ago, I was supposed to run in an event called “The Warrior Dash.” It’s a 5K obstacle course that involves mud, fire, water and Viking helmets. I’d signed up for it months ago. But 24 hours before the event, I decided not to go.


Because I’m trying to disappoint the right people in my life.

4. Hurry up, get more done, and die, by Mark Morford

Mark Morford's writings are certainly not to everyone's taste, but I liked his reminder that we really don't need to fill up every 30-second spot of free time with getting yet another small task done.


LeeAnne said...

This is a great reading list! Thank you! (And, I love to hate / hate to love Mark Morford.... hehe.) Thanks for the shout-out.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing the reading list - some great ideas in here that I'll definitely check out!