Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make some changes starting NOW: quick start resources

I know that most of you are eager  to make some changes that will improve your productivity.  You can't wait to for my blog posts to slowly appear over the next  few months!

If this is you, here are some "quick start" resources.

Materials I've created

Something to watch.  In 2009, I gave a presentation to a group of faculty, resident physicians, and other staff at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Here is the YouTube slides-with-voice-over recording.  It lasts about an hour, and several of the core practices are covered.  This is my only YouTube appearance to date, and you don't even get to see me!

Something to read.  Two of the essays posted to my web page are aimed at getting started.  Try them both:  Code O: recovering from overwhelm, and The basics of organizing your work and time.

Pick one or two ideas from these sources, and give them a try.  You can add more later.

If you want to buy a book

Today's count of books on found using the search term "time management:" 7,988.

I will recommend two of these as great "starter" books.  Each presents a complete system for organizing your work and getting it done.  While the two systems are not identical, they are compatible.  I have used a blend of these two systems for over 10 years.  You can't go wrong starting with either one.  

I have not given a link to a specific bookseller;  you know where you like to buy your books.

1. David Allen (2001).  Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity,  Viking, New York.

     A modern classic. This is the book that started the current massive discussion of productivity. 

2. Kerry Gleeson (2009).  The Personal Efficiency Program: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Win Back Control of Your Work, 4th edition, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

     Gleeson is a contemporary of Allen's and his system is the first one that clicked for me.  I am particularly fond of his "do it now" philosophy - more on that in a later post.

If you have a favorite book in the genre, send it to me ( ) or add to the comments at the end of this post. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, and I'll share a more complete list later.