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.
“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.
Control Your Environment
Published on March 09, 2015 by Francisco Sáez
We rely on the environment more than we'd like to think. Use that to your advantage.
“You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.” ~ Deepak Chopra
When we try to be effective in what we have to do, when we try to be productive or—from a wider perspective—try to be happy, we are accustomed to act on the factors that we can control and keep our fingers crossed so that other environmental factors that we cannot control show up well, or at least turn out not to be too hostile.
Nonetheless, it seems that we can do more. It turns out that many of the things that happen to us, things that we just complain about because we believe we can do nothing to avoid them, can be controlled indirectly. It turns out that your effectiveness in life is based to a great extent on the level of control that you are able to exert on your surroundings.
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.
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.)
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?
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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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