GTD Recipes: Actionable Books

Published on March 02, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

How to turn information consumption into living actions within your personal productivity system.

actionable books

Just a few years ago, when you wanted to learn something on your own, all you could do was buy a book written by some expert on the subject. We are now in the Age of Information. If you google on a any subject, you will not only find physical books, but also e-books, videos, essays, online courses, podcasts, and countless articles about it.

Much of this information is even free and immediately accessible. But sometimes it’s too much. Information overload occurs when too much available information leads to a misunderstanding of the matter and results in a problem when making decisions.

A rule of thumb to distinguish the information that you should consume from the one that only generates noise, is taking notes while you are consuming it. If after reading, seeing or hearing something that you thought was interesting, you have not written down any action that may be useful for any of the goals you have defined in your life, you should not continue wasting your time with that source, since it does not provide you any value (of course, books, movies or resources you cosume just for pleasure, are out of this discussion.)

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The Path to Self Improvement

Published on February 23, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

You know that. There is much potential in you and you want to develop it. But what can you do to bring out the best of yourself?

self-improvement

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” ~ Albert Einstein

No matter how much you develop the necessary skills to improve any given aspect of your life, you can always get better. There is no book, no method, no person, nor tool that can bring you to perfection in any area of ​​your life. Getting better, improving yourself, is a never-ending process.

Leading a healthy lifestyle, keeping fit, being productive, etc., are things that most people want to do in order to feel better, to lead a happier and more meaningful life. But being physically fit today does not mean that you will be fit six months from now. Having a well-organized and tidy life today does not mean that things will remain like that after a while.

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Start to Get Organized: The Mind Sweep

Published on February 16, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

The Mind Sweep is an overall scan of everything that has your attention right now, and the first thing you must do to get organized.

mind sweep

Collecting is the first stage of any kind of organizational work flow. In order to gain control, you need to gather everything that you consider somehow incomplete. The basic principle is that you must know how your world is right now, how the map in which you move looks like, so that you can make a positive commitment to it.

There are a lot of things in your life that do not put any pressure on you. It is all those things that are under control. You turn on the computer and you see the application you need with the data you need. You turn on the heating and soon you get the room at the right temperature for you to work. You need to go somewhere, so you start the car and go there… Things are just like they ought to be.

But in the normal course of your day, there are many other things that demand part of your attention. Your internal radar is activated whenever something pops up that can somehow upset the balance of your universe. This new and strange noise you hear in the engine of your car, what can it be? A message from your bank warning about an account with insufficient funds. A new idea to increase your income that occurred to you the moment you heard some comment somewhere.

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Social Networks and Productivity: Pros, Cons and Tips

Published on February 09, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Social networks can improve your productivity if you use them properly, but they might destroy it if they become an uncontrolled addiction.

social networks

You are in front of your computer, working on that boring report your boss asked you to do and, damn it, you need a break. So you decide to distract yourself for a few minutes by glancing at your Twitter timeline, or seeing the weekend photos your friends have posted on Facebook.

Is it better or worse for your productivity when you are using social networks instead of actually doing your job? Well, that depends.

Although there are many people—including your boss—who think social networking is a waste of time, some studies show the opposite. Sounds strange, right? How is it possible that doing something that distracts you from doing the task in hand should be considered productive?

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11 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Give Up

Published on February 02, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Many times we abandon an important work without even realizing. Do not let that happen with the things that matter to you.

don't give up

“Your victory is right around the corner. Never give up.” ~ Nicki Minaj, singer

There are times when a project is choking you. It happens. If it comes to a professional project, normally you do everything possible to continue and make it come to fruition, either not to lose a business opportunity, or your job.

If the project is personal, however, and since you don’t have the same pressure, there is a great possibility that you end up leaving it. After all, the only damaged party would be you, and that’s more manageable and easier to justify.

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FacileThings: Changelog (January 2015)

Published on January 30, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

A list of minor changes and bug fixes on FacileThings.

In recent weeks we have made some minor changes and bug fixes in FacileThings. Here is the list of modifications.

Reference Material

We added the Perspective tab when editing an item belonging to the Reference Material list. This way, you can change the project the information belongs to (before you could not) and assign material specifically to a goal or area of responsibility.

editing reference material

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How GTD Supports your Behavior Patterns

Published on January 26, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

GTD responds to a number of behavior patterns that most of us follow in a predictable way.

behavior patterns

Any person or organization wishing to develop a product—whether it’s a web application, a toaster or a building—must take into account how the people who will use the product usually behave. This is essential to design the product so that it’s easy to understand and use.

For many years, designers, researchers and cognitive scientists, have been observing how people use the things they have at their disposal. And they have identified a number of behavior patterns more or less usual, that most of us follow in a predictable way.

This week, as I was reviewing these patterns to bear in mind in the development of a new user interface, I noticed with some surprise how the GTD method has also been designed—consciously or unconsciously—to support these forms of behavior.

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