My major focus in 2008 has been to be more productive. In fact it’s my goal for this year. Yes I know it’s a terrible goal, no date, no real way to measure, but a bad goal is better than no goal at all, and more importantly it’s working for me. My main source of productivity ideas is Zen Habits. Recently he did an interview with Gina Trapini from Lifehacker: “Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani: Her Top 3 Productivity Tips and Much More”
In the interview he asked about her top 3 productivity tips. She referenced 3 articles she had written. The third article she points out, “The art of the doable to-do list” is where I got the most recent addition to my productivity repertoire. “Boss hat” and “assistant hat” is a concept where you are only the boss when you have the boss hat on and vice versa.
When I put the boss hat on I only focus on the following:
Planning. This is the goal setting portion of the hat. This is big picture thinking. What am I doing? Am I following what I set out to do? Am I on the right track? And similar types of questions. This is one of my strong suits
Strategy. This is prioritizing, deciding which tasks to take on. Not one of my strong suits.
Processing. Going through the inbox is the bosses job. It requires analysis, thinking, and planning.
Break It Down. It is the Boss that should break down each task as much as possible. Each action should be clear on what to do, and it should only be one action. Reading an article and brainstorming about it are two separate actions. This was a major point I picked up from this article.
When I put the assistant hat on I only focus on the following:
Doing. And NOTHING ELSE. When I am in assistant mode, I don’t think about it. I do it. If it doesn’t make sense or it asks too much I send it back. There is no analysis with this position. I do what is written and nothing else.
Why this appeals to me
I believe her article appeals to me so much because I am naturally a planner. I would plan 24/7 if I could. It is one of my strong suits. However I am weak on doing. So I have a tendency to plan plan plan, and when it comes time to do I slack off. So now when it comes time to act, the actions are so simple, that I enjoy acting. Someone spoke the truth when they said there is no better feeling than crossing something of your to do list.
If you are strong in planning, but weak in doing, then I highly recommend Gina’s article. It makes it very easy to do. And doing is where the results come from.