Why You Do Not Usually Make The Best Decision

Published on April 20, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Much of what you think is your rational thinking, comes from paying too much attention, throughout your life, to biased information.

confirmation bias

“The human understanding, when it has once adopted an opinion, draws all things else to support and agree with it.” ~ Francis Bacon

Confirmation bias is a cognitive bias that makes us give much credit to the information that confirms our beliefs, while making us ignore the information that challenges our expectations. In other words, people tend to favorably filter information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of the veracity or falsehood of that information.

We want to think that our opinions are always the result of rational thought, but they are rather the result of paying too much attention, throughout our lives, to information received and interpreted in a biased manner. Confirmation bias is a phenomenon that affects your life much more than you think. You can observe it everywhere.

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FacileThings: Changelog (April 2015)

Published on April 16, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

A list of minor changes and bug fixes on FacileThings.

This is a list of small changes and bug fixes that have been introduced in FacileThings in recent weeks:

New date-time picker

Some time ago we changed the date-time picker that is used to assign a reminder to a task. The former became outdated and didn’t allow you to select hours from a tablet.

date picker

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Self-management: Bottom-up Approach

Published on April 13, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Focusing on primary outcomes and values is critical for your productivity. But when is the right moment to do that?

bottom-up approach

“Focusing on values does not simplify your life. It gives meaning and direction—and a lot more complexity.” ~ David Allen

When it comes to focus on doing what’s really important, it has always been completely logical to me to do it from top to bottom. That is, first I reflect on what I want to achieve and why; then I create in my mind some kind of objective or goal; next I define one or more projects that I ought to do in order to achieve that goal; and finally I decompose those projects in concrete tasks upon which I can act (at least the initial tasks which will help me get started.)

However, David Allen (author of Getting Things Done) argues that that model, even though it can be useful when you’re already managing your life efficiently and without stress, is not as good in practice and in most cases, due to the complexity of the world we face:

  • There are too many distractions in our daily life for us to really focus on the highest and most significant aspects of our lives. It is difficult to think about these issues without being conditioned by our current urgencies.
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FacileThings Calendar: New Views By Day, Week And Month

Published on April 06, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

We have updated FacileThings with new Calendar views and some improvements in the synchronization with Google Calendar.

Today we have updated FacileThings with interesting improvements in the use of the Calendar.

In addition to the traditional view of “event list”, now you have a monthly, weekly and daily view of your Calendar, allowing you to have a better perspective of upcoming events.

calendar month view

The buttons on the top right (1) lets you switch between the standard view and the daily, weekly and monthly views. The system will remember the last view you used and it will be shown the next time you visit the Calendar list. The second button group (2) lets you move through the calendar, going to the previous or next day, week or month—depending on the view in which you are. The “today” button helps you quickly return to the initial state.

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4 Things Engineers Do To Be More Productive (And So Can You)

Published on March 30, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

These four mechanisms will help you be more productive in your work and in your personal life.

engineer

As technology evolves and systems become more and more complex, hardware engineers and software developers are constantly looking for ways to stay productive. It is a matter of survival.

These are the four mechanisms we use to improve our productivity and the quality of what we produce. Pay attention, since they can generally be applied in many other areas.

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The New "Getting Things Done"

Published on March 23, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

New revised edition of Getting Things Done, a timeless manual of personal productivity.

Getting Things Done

Last week it was released the revised and updated version of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen’s handbook for personal productivity on which FacileThings is based. David Allen has revised the text from beginning to end and changed any contents that, 14 years later, might be incomplete or outdated. He has also added new stuff that he learned in the process of disseminating the method over the years.

Supported now by research in cognitive science which has validated the effectiveness of this methodology, the result is a content that is both more coherent and less dependent on fads and trendy technological gadgets. A timeless handbook for personal productivity, valid for this century and the next.

It’s funny how, after so many years and despite the great changes we are experiencing at the organizational level, the fundamental principles and techniques of GTD remain unchanged. Nevertheless, Allen has taken into account that the way we live and work is changing, and some materials have been updated accordingly.

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No More Deadlines!

Published on March 16, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Just because an executive wants a project done in six weeks doesn’t mean it can be done in six weeks.

deadlines

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” ~ John Ruskin

“I need it yesterday!” Did you ever have to hear that? Personally, I like to imagine people who say such things wrapped in plastic and lying on Dexter Morgan’s table.

Everybody is in a hurry in the corporate world. And don’t get me started about the world of technology startups. One must build a sustainable business before resources run out—and they usually run out immediately.

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Productive blogs

  • 43 Folders ~ Merlin Mann

    Time, attention, and creative work.

  • GTD Times ~ GTD Times Team

    The hub for all things GTD.

  • Lifehacker GTD ~ Lifehacker Team

    Tips and downloads for Getting Things Done.