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Ask Readers: Your GTD Hacks

Ask Readers: Your GTD Hacks

I wasn’t going to admit this, but I can’t stay quiet: I’m really underwater because I fell off the organizational wagon. Have you ever been in this spot? You suddenly get SWAMPED with things to do, and instead of using your system to manage it, you throw it all away and just let stuff fall on the floor. Oh, is that just me?

Let me lay out the way I think I will make the system work for me, and then, what I really want, is YOUR implementation. What are you doing different than the book?

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First Collection Points: Gmail-into-a-wiki for electronic stuff, and 3×5 card into a wiki for thoughts. I was using backpack, but I dunno. What about you?

Communication: I need to better gait my email swimming. I do it too often. I love writing back to readers, and I have lots of balls in the air. I can’t NOT do email, because it’s part of my efforts, but maybe I can gait it better. What about 10 minutes out of every hour? What are you doing? Oh, and now that MySpace is into the picture (I finally figured out how to make it useful to me), I’ll add that to email time.

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Process: Do It Now- I think the “do-it-now” stuff owns me right now, and that’s bad. I need to work more on “habit 2” stuff, to mix systems. I have big projects that get pushed into obscure times because I’m focusing too hard on the correspondence. Maybe I can scale the do-it-now stuff into a defer, and then give that one hour a day?

Process: Projects- Here’s where I really need help. I’ve got a trillion projects. I multitask (and MUST). I need a way to better parse stuff. Maybe I also need a better way to delegate, because I have some help on some of these projects. How are you managing that? **You know what? I think what I need is to better define process flows for the projects I’m working on, and just look at the process flow when I return to that project. You know. Things have a shape. They have a form. Maybe I’m not respecting that enough. Thoughts?

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Your Hacks: How did you over-clock David Allen’s great framework? What did you add in, subtract, tweak, edit? How are you rolling with this? I need your help. LOAD this with your thoughts and feelings. And if you’re willing, take the “distillation” of your thoughts, and load it into our wiki. That would be even way-cooler, because people will be able to find it thereafter. But really, I’m selfish, so help me! : )

–Chris Brogan is looking for ways to get back to sleeping more than 4 hours a night. He writes about self-improvement (which evidently doesn’t include sleep deprivation) at [chrisbrogan.com]. He’s helping organize Podcamp Boston and working on super-secret projects too. Oh, and a book.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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