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June 2010

Your Moment of Truth: What Will You Choose?

Moment of Truth: A crucial or decisive time, at which one is put to the ultimate test.
We all deal with moments of truth when we face crucial decisions that could change the course of our lives forever. Do you remember the movie "The Matrix" and the red or blue pills? In the movie, our soon-to-be hero, Neo, is put to the ultimate test when Morpheus shows Neo two pills, a blue and a red one, and gives him a choice:

Blue pill: Forget everything and go back to the status quo.
Red pill: Learn the truth and step into your destiny.

We are no different than Neo in that we are all on a journey towards significance whether or not we consciously realize it. However, all of us aren't as courageous as Neo, are we? Neo took the red pill and left the status quo behind. What would you do?
Some people are afraid to search for meaning in their lives because they will have to do something with their discovery. After all, something happens inside us when we finally uncover the purpose for our lives...what we were born to do.
Suddenly, we realize we need to redeem the time ahead of us. Envisioning our purpose or "promised land" puts us in an interesting position because we find ourselves between the "here" and the "there". We know where we are and yet we see how things could be. Tension builds and we face our moment of truth.
Our moment of truth in leadership and in life exists at the boundary between current reality and our "promised land". It is here where we see new possibilities and where we must ask ourselves:

  • What will I do with what I now see?
  • What will I do with what could be?
  • What keeps me from entering in to the promised land?
Today, you are Neo. You can choose the blue "pill" of the status quo or the red "pill" of possibility. The choice is yours. What will you do?

Tired of the status quo or curious about what your "moment of truth" might look like? Call me for a free consultation today at 913-219-7844.

Getting Things Done: Ready, Set, DO!

You have more to do than you can possibly do. You just need to feel good about your choices. - David Allen

Ready...Set...DO. Today is the final step in the series highlighting David Allen's Getting Things Done process for stress free productivity. You've made and reviewed your lists and have some valuable time available. It is time to finally get something DO.

The goal in the "do" stage of David Allen's process is to "move from hope to trust in your actions" resulting in an immediate increase in your speed and effectiveness.  Allen gives us three models for making choices that when integrated into your routine, will help you feel good about your choices.  Following is a brief synopsis.
1.  Choosing Actions in the Moment (consider the following of each task, in the order below):

  • Context
  • Time available
  • Energy Available
  • Priority

2.  Evaluating Daily Work:

  • Doing predefined work
  • Doing work as it shows up
  • Defining your work

3. Reviewing Your Work:

  • 50,000+ feet: Life
  • 40,000 feet: Three- to five-year vision
  • 30,000 feet: One- to two-year goals
  • 20,000 feet: Areas of responsibility
  • 10,000 feet: Current projects
  • Runway: Current actions

There is definitely an art to getting things done.  Everything must be considered in its proper context as it interrelates to the rest of our lives.  We need to consider both the immediate, mid-term and future when choosing what to do. Those who master the art of productivity set themselves apart from the rest in all that they do.  How will you set yourself apart today?

Want to start from the beginning of the series? Below are links in order.  Happy DO-ing!

  1. The Art of Efficiency
  2. Collect the "stuff" representing your "to do's"
  3. Process what you collect
  4. Organize results of processing
  5. Review results as options "to do"
  6. Do the best thing to do 

Now, tell me what you think of the process. What experiences have you had in getting organized & productive? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

Weekly Reviews: The Most Essential Part of Productivity

The most critical part of efficient, stress-free productivity management is the weekly review process. This is the piece of the process where we decide what to actually DO! Yet, most of the people I talk to, including myself, find this part of the process the hardest part to implement? Why? Because reviewing doesn't seem as productive as doing. 

But how will we know WHAT to most efficiently DO, if we don't review? Reviewing is how we know what to do. Consider the following quote by James Fenimore Cooper:

The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.

If you've been participating the past few posts, you've collected, processed and organized all of your stuff.  You've impressed yourself or perhaps even overwhelmed yourself with all of the lists you've made of your future "to dos".  It is time now to learn what it means to review.
According to David Allen's "Getting Things Done", "everything that might potentially require action must be reviewed on a frequent enough basis to keep your mind from coming back to the job of remembering and reminding." 
The weekly review is the time to:

  • Gather and process all your "stuff."
  • Review your system.
  • Update your lists.
  • Get clean, clear, current and complete.

If we've done a good job at capturing on paper all of these items that require action in a complete system, we will get the most payoff from the review process.  Then, we can confidently make action decisions taking all the affairs of our life into account.  We will finally know what to do!  
Stay tuned next for my next post on the final step in David Allen's process, DO, and learn a model for making choices. For more information about this process, I would be happy to consult with you.  Please use my contact information at left.  Additionally, check out the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

What are your experiences with a review process of this nature? Would you please share your struggles or successes in a comment below?