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#ProdChat – 09/18/13 – Taking Action!

#ProdChat – 09/18/13 – Taking Action!

This week’s Productivity Chat was guest-hosted by Natalie Houston (@nmhouston), productivity coach, on "Taking Action!" Check it out!

  1. Tonight at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 PT I’ll be hosting the weekly #productivity chat. Topic: Taking Action! Join us by following #prodchat
  2. Great start to fall! MT @nmhouston: 8:00 pm ET I’ll be hosting weekly productivity chat. Topic: Taking Action! Join us: follow #prodchat.
  3. “Taking Action! Creating & Completing Measurable Action Steps on Your Projects” –tonight on #productivity chat 8 pm ET. Follow #prodchat
  4. Welcome to #ProdChat, the weekly #productivity chat! Tonight’s topic: Taking Action!
  5. Let’s start off with intro’s. In 140 characters, tell us a little bit about you. And, do you use a specific #productivity system? #prodchat
  6. #ProdChat: Every Wednesday, 8PM ET. For those looking to improve their personal productivity, #tweetchatshappeningnow
  7. As host of tonight’s #prodchat, during the next hour I’ll be posting six questions in ALL CAPS to spark conversation, with Q1, Q2. etc
  8. Expect heavier than usual tweeting from me for the next hour while I take part in this week’s #prodchat on the topic: Taking Action!
  9. @nmhouston #prodchat I direct the MLA. Always looking for new productivity systems. Latest: a journal-book: 21 Days: Make or Break a Habit.
  10. Answer A1, A2, A3, etc. to help us all track the threads. Remember to add #prodchat to each tweet to make sure you show up in the chat feed!
  11. Hey all! Michelle here. I’m a productivity enthusiast. Thanks for hosting @nmhouston!!! #ProdChat
  12. my intro: I’m Natalie, a personal productivity coach and English professor. I blend several systems including #GTD. #prodchat
  13. @nmhouston On Day 18 of making a new habit. Like the journal w its prompts. #prodchat
  14. Q1: WHAT PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW THAT YOU’D LIKE TO MOVE FORWARD? ARE THEY AT WORK? AT HOME? #prodchat
  15. Q1: WHAT PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW THAT YOU’D LIKE TO MOVE FORWARD? ARE THEY AT WORK? AT HOME? #prodchat
  16. Looking forward to it! Good topic!! :) RT @nmhouston: @michgunn hey Michelle! glad you’re here! #prodchat
  17. @rgfeal Q1 = Question 1, A1 = Answer1 — just to help make sense of the threads #prodchat
  18. A1 I have some daunting personal projects that I’m dragging my feet on moving forward… out of fear – both of success and failure #ProdChat
  19. @rgfeal that is excellent! sounds like the journal is helping you be consistent, which is key to creating a new pattern/habit #prodchat
  20. A1 I have some projects that have been on the back burner for a while, need to move them up to the front! #prodchat
  21. A1 they are personal projects, but are about career choices… so a higher perspective work type of thing. ;) #ProdChat
  22. @michgunn Fear of success can be just as paralyzing as fear of failure #prodchat
  23. Q2: HOW DO YOU DIVIDE UP A PROJECT INTO ACTIONS? DO YOU FOLLOW THE ‘NEXT ACTION’ GTD APPROACH? #prodchat
  24. Q2: HOW DO YOU DIVIDE UP A PROJECT INTO ACTIONS? DO YOU FOLLOW THE ‘NEXT ACTION’ GTD APPROACH? #prodchat
  25. Sure is!! :( RT @nmhouston: @michgunn Fear of success can be just as paralyzing as fear of failure #prodchat
  26. Sure is!! :( RT @nmhouston: @michgunn Fear of success can be just as paralyzing as fear of failure #prodchat
  27. A1 I have 4 massive projects right now that should be really fun but are in a stuck phase so they are a little overwhelming #ProdChat
  28. In Getting Things Done, David Allen defines a project as anything needing more than one action step. I’ve found that helpful. #prodchat
  29. A2 I do. Smaller actions always help to move things forward and feel that I am progressing #ProdChat
  30. Right there with ya! MT @apinaud: A1 I have 4 massive projects right now that s… are in a stuck phase & a little overwhelming #ProdChat
  31. A2 I practice GTD too. I try to break projects down into really doable next actions #ProdChat
  32. So what makes an action do-able? RT @michgunn: A2 I practice GTD too. I try to break projects down into really doable next actions #ProdChat
  33. @nmhouston Agreed! It was hard to get used to that definition, but it makes a lot of sense, practically speaking. #ProdChat
  34. ditto RT @apinaud: A2 I do. Smaller actions always help to move things forward and feel that I am progressing #ProdChat
  35. If you’re new to GTD: fix leaky faucet” is a project. “Call Sue to get number of her plumber” is a clearly defined next action. #prodchat
  36. I think really single step actions. Non-ambiguous next actions… RT @nmhouston: So what makes an action do-able? #ProdChat
  37. A2 Sometimes even listing & doing simple small actions can help nudge a project forward. Things like “find notes on X.” #prodchat
  38. I think grasping the granularity of a next action was a big step. Learning “Fix leaky faucet” is not a next action isn’t easy. ;) #ProdChat
  39. Yes! make it easy on your future self, so you don’t have to figure out what you meant MT @michgunn: Non-ambiguous next actions… #prodchat
  40. @nmhouston Ha! I’m a big fan of making it easier on my future self! :) #ProdChat
  41. @nmhouston one of my favorites: Journal about project X #ProdChat helps unstuck them sometimes
  42. @michgunn Agreed. So often when we get stuck on something it’s because there are projects pretending to be actions on the list. #prodchat
  43. @nmhouston other times is: Block X hours to work on Project X (and take some action) #ProdChat
  44. Great one! RT @apinaud: @nmhouston one of my favorites: Journal about project X #ProdChat helps unstuck them sometimes
  45. @nmhouston If only it was the project’s fault and not my own. :) But I like the visual of the project hiding out on my list. ;) #ProdChat
  46. Q3: WHAT BLOCKS YOU FROM TAKING ACTION ON A PROJECT? WHAT GETS YOU STUCK? #prodchat
  47. Q3: WHAT BLOCKS YOU FROM TAKING ACTION ON A PROJECT? WHAT GETS YOU STUCK? #prodchat
  48. @apinaud Your examples show value of always start an action with a verb. Makes it clear what you will actually DO. #prodchat
  49. Q3 Honestly? I get stuck when I haven’t fully committed to a project, yet it still made it onto my list. Bad, Michelle. ;) #ProdChat
  50. @michgunn sometimes projects dress up in language pretending to be actions. “Review” can hide several embedded steps #prodchat
  51. Q3 And sometimes it’s not that I haven’t committed, but that I haven’t thought out the project and it’s very next action #ProdChat
  52. A3: I will plead the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution #ProdChat
  53. So true! MT @michgunn: I get stuck when I haven’t fully committed to a project, yet it still made it onto my list. #ProdChat
  54. @rgfeal Four people can still have a great chat — esp because there are always people who will come back & read it later :) #prodchat
  55. True!! RT @nmhouston: sometimes projects dress up in language pretending to be actions. “Review” can hide several embedded steps #prodchat
  56. HA!!! RT @apinaud: A3: I will plead the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution #ProdChat
  57. A3 falta de ganas. = don’t feel like doing whatever it is. #prodchat
  58. A1: I have two work projects right now: one four day long event and another event that is three days long #prodchat
  59. Sure does, but it’s a much less hectic pace. I dig it. :) RT @rgfeal: @nmhouston Looks like everyone is off being productive! #prodchat
  60. A2 I use GTD, but I also subdivide them into smaller projects and then into actions. It makes small goals to keep me motivated #prodchat
  61. A3 I also get blocked from taking action if I’m feeling over extended or resistant to a project/commitment #prodchat
  62. Yeah. Then there’s that. :) RT @rgfeal: A3 falta de ganas. = don’t feel like doing whatever it is. #prodchat
  63. A3 I get distracted by shiny things quickly. Shiny being new projects or ideas #prodchat
  64. A3 Making things I need to do into a game always helps! Toggling works. Will spend 10 mins on task I dislike, then 10 on like. #ProdChat
  65. Hi @IsaPinaud, welcome!! :) #ProdChat Phew… finally got that tweet out correctly. ;)
  66. A3 I lose motivation when things aren’t going right. Still, I tend to push through #prodchat
  67. @michgunn I was just about to ask you! How are you this fine evening? #prodchat
  68. @rgfeal I learned from The Now Habit to pay attention to when I say “I have to do X.” Instead, “I choose to” — or choose not to. #prodchat
  69. Q4: WHAT WORKS FOR YOU? SHARE YOUR BEST TIP FOR TAKING ACTION WHEN YOU’RE STUCK #prodchat
  70. Q4: WHAT WORKS FOR YOU? SHARE YOUR BEST TIP FOR TAKING ACTION WHEN YOU’RE STUCK #prodchat
  71. @rgfeal GTD is the Getting Things Done methodology created by David Allen #prodchat
  72. @rgfeal GTD = Getting Things Done (book, productivity method, by David Allen) #prodchat
  73. Great! Glad to “see” you! :) RT @IsaPinaud: @michgunn I was just about to ask you! How are you this fine evening? #prodchat
  74. @nmhouston #prodchat Using this structured journal that comes w steps, questions, etc is espec good for behaviors that get in way of X.
  75. @rgfeal It’s basically a way to manage everything you have to do in your life, which makes it easier on you and clears your head! #prodchat
  76. A4 block time in the calendar. Turn off the Internet (yes unplug the cable) LOUD rock #ProdChat
  77. @rgfeal Good example — anything that helps you become more aware of behaviors that block action is so helpful! #prodchat
  78. Could be behaviors like spending too much time being Walter Mitty on the internet, letting emails stack up, etc. #prodchat
  79. A4 Remove all distracions AKA computer, phone, internet. Sit down with the things you need to work only #prodchat
  80. A4 Reviewing my entire task list weekly helps me get back in the swing of things. It helps to notice the projects that are stuck #ProdChat
  81. @apinaud Yes, music can really help to change your mood, energy, focus. Calm you down or pump you up as needed. #prodchat
  82. A4 I also like to ask myself “what can I do to get this off my list?” It usually gives me ideas and helps things flow #prodchat
  83. A4 One of my favorite inquiries is to ask “how can I make this more enjoyable?” Helps reframe a stuck project #prodchat
  84. A4 Here’s a really simple one, but can really help with clarity… an empty desk. I really like the “space” to think. #ProdChat
  85. Great one! MT @isapinaud: A4 I also like to ask myself “what can I do to get this off my list?” #prodchat
  86. A4 Journaling and a good review every week (review should never be done on your working desk – find a thinking desk) #ProdChat
  87. Nice! MT @IsaPinaud: A4 I … ask myself “what can I do to get this off my list?” usually gives me ideas and helps things flow #prodchat
  88. LIKE! RT @nmhouston: A4 One of my favorite inquiries is to ask “how can I make this more enjoyable?” Helps reframe a stuck project #prodchat
  89. @michgunn Lord knows a decluttered desk often = short task list! #prodchat
  90. @michgunn me too — clearing a physical space helps invite new ideas, new energy! #prodchat
  91. A4 I dont remember where I read this, but it works. Ask “Do I need any additional info?” You might be stuck because you need it #prodchat
  92. :) Yes! RT @rgfeal: @michgunn Lord knows a decluttered desk often = short task list! #prodchat
  93. Yes! Exactly! How awesome? RT @nmhouston: @michgunn me too — clearing a physical space helps invite new ideas, new energy! #prodchat
  94. @nmhouston My energy arises from writing and speaking. I swear I know nothing until it is voiced. #prodchat
  95. @apinaud Agree, I use different spaces for different kinds of mental work. Standing desk, worktable & stool, armchair #prodchat
  96. Yeah, I can feel that! RT @rgfeal: My energy arises from writing and speaking. I swear I know nothing until it is voiced. #prodchat
  97. Q5: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOOLS OR APPS FOR TRACKING PROJECTS & ACTIONS? #prodchat
  98. Q5: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOOLS OR APPS FOR TRACKING PROJECTS & ACTIONS? #prodchat
  99. Good one! MT @isapinaud: A4 Ask “Do I need any additional info?” You might be stuck because you need it #prodchat
  100. A5 I use OmniFocus primarily. But I like the iOS app Clear for quick lists, almost post-it type lists #ProdChat
  101. A5 There are only four and they are vital. Omnifocus, Evernote, a calendar and a regular notebook I don’t need anything else #prodchat
  102. A5: Even though I use digital tools for keeping my overall project/action lists, I write an index card for the day’s priorities. #prodchat
  103. A5 I live in OmniFocus. Use Nozbe and Asana for 2 external projects right now but everything end up in OmniFocus #ProdChat
  104. A5 For professional-sized project managing, I use FastTrack Schedule or OmniPlan to track timelines, progress, budget, and such. #ProdChat
  105. A few minutes of (judgment free!) free-writing in my notebook always helps me thru those “stuck” moments. #prodchat
  106. A5 My entire list is in omnifocus, evenrote serves as reference, calendar for appointments & the notebook for the weekly todo list #prodchat
  107. A5 I’ve been using @todoist for my actions & projects, really like it. Syncs well, simple, uncluttered design. #prodchat
  108. @apinaud I am trying my hardest to refrain from diving in… I’m sure I’ll falter by sunrise. ;) #ProdChat
  109. Me too! MT @bruixavioleta: A few minutes of free-writing in my notebook always helps me thru those “stuck” moments. #prodchat
  110. @nmhouston: I keep hearing about todoist. I’ll have to check it out #ProdChat
  111. +1 @nmhouston: Me too! “@bruixavioleta: A few minutes of free-writing in my notebook always helps me thru those “stuck” moments.” #prodchat
  112. @apinaud: @michgunn they did a good gob refreshing it. It works different, not yet sure better. Better to the eye for sure #ProdChat
  113. @michgunn it feels faster. Specially loading. That by itself it is something to love #ProdChat
  114. @apinaud I know I’m going to break down before midnight. ha!!! :)” #ProdChat
  115. @michgunn jajajajaja better then do it now before you are too tired #ProdChat
  116. A5 for me writing out actions by hand is helpful to clear brain, then transfer to computer for maintenance #prodchat
  117. Q6: DO YOU PREFER TAKING SMALL STEPS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, OR MASSIVE ACTION OVER A SHORT TIME? #prodchat
  118. Q6: DO YOU PREFER TAKING SMALL STEPS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, OR MASSIVE ACTION OVER A SHORT TIME? #prodchat
  119. @nmhouston I agree. I like to plan out projects on paper, often. Something about pen to paper helps with thinking things through #ProdChat
  120. A6 Small steps always win… But I love the long pushing moments #ProdChat
  121. A6 Wow… well, I think I’m a “massive action over short time” naturally. #ProdChat
  122. @michgunn By nature or by habit I often tend towards massive action in a short time, near a deadline. But have been changingt…#prodchat
  123. A6 I seem to be able to manage professional long term projects really well. Somehow that doesn’t translate to my personal projects #ProdChat
  124. A6 Depends on the project for me! I tend to aim for small, but remain open to poss. that it might just end up being “massive.” #prodchat
  125. A6: On the value of small steps — so small as to seem even foolish — see Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change Your Life #prodchat
  126. @michgunn have you try to review the goals of those long term personal projects daily? #ProdChat
  127. @nmhouston I don’t think mine is deadline related. I just prefer the focus and satisfaction of major accomplishment, I think. #ProdChat
  128. @apinaud Yeah, I have adopted a daily review and do try to tie back to my Areas of Focus, so I get the importance… :/ #ProdChat
  129. @bruixavioleta yes, for me too. House projects I often just attack over a weekend, but writing projects are different #prodchat
  130. @nmhouston Nice. I like the idea of intentionally working towards that. Hmmm. A goal for the week I think. :) #ProdChat
  131. A6 It really depends on the project… Small actions are usually my favorite though #prodchat
  132. @michgunn i.e when I decided to get healthy, I remind myself the goal everyday (I still do) still effective more than 150lbs later #ProdChat
  133. @michgunn I am too old to live off peaks of adrenaline (though that is what gets me hooked on massive action) #prodchat
  134. So what do you guys find enticing about tackling in small steps? Just curious for some insight to inspire me. #ProdChat
  135. @michgunn Some days, I “stir all the pots” — move lots of diff projects forward, even a little bit. #prodchat
  136. @michgunn write down where you are (Starting point) and keep and eye on the goal. Celebrate de small steps #ProdChat
  137. @michgunn I try to take each step as a major accomplishment so small steps = more accomplishments which keeps me motivated #prodchat
  138. yes, more celebrations = more motivation! MT @apinaud: write down where you are & the goal. Celebrate the small steps #ProdChat
  139. Yes, good point @apinaud! I picked that one up from you too. Often we don’t note our starting point & lose sight of the progress! #ProdChat
  140. Well, there we have it! Another #prodchat hour has passed! So much fun, everyone! Thanks for the great ideas!
  141. @michgunn I have more to loose. But I am wearing pants 34 (used to be 48) #ProdChat
  142. Check out the #prodchat storify tomorrow, which @rsidneysmith will tweet out! And join us next week, same day & time for another chat!
  143. Nice! @IsaPinaud: I try to take each step as a major accomplishment so small steps = more accomplishments which keeps me motivated #prodchat
  144. Thanks guys!!! Really appreciate the tips and tricks. I’m going to capture them for action! :) #ProdChat
  145. Goodnight everybody #prodchat Thanks for another great chat!
  146. @michgunn For me it’s about preventing stress wherever I can, maintaining as consistent a schedule as possible. #prodchat
  147. ARGH!!! Didn’t even make it to 9:30! :D RT @michgunn: @apinaud I know I’m going to break down before midnight. ha!!! :)” #ProdChat

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