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#ProdChat – 10/2/13 – How To Decide What Not To Do

#ProdChat – 10/2/13 – How To Decide What Not To Do

  1. #ProdChat, the weekly #productivity conversation: goo.gl/Uk35l | Tomorrow’s Topic: “How to Decide What Not to Do”
  2. Expect higher volume of tweets from me for the next hour while I join in on #ProdChat. Come on over for “How Do You Decide What NOT to Do?”
  3. Focus is knowing what you’re working on, but also knowing what you’re not working on! How do you decide? Let’s discuss now on #prodchat!
  4. Welcome to #ProdChat, the weekly #productivity conversation! goo.gl/Uk35l | Today’s Topic: “How to Decide What Not to Do”
  5. So, let’s start with introductions! In a tweet, introduce yourself. #prodchat
  6. I may be tweeting more than usual for the next hour. I’m participating in this week’s #prodchat
  7. Hi everyone! Michelle, checking in… I’m a productivity enthusiast, #GTD practitioner, Mac addict, and #OmniFocus fan! #ProdChat
  8. RT @michgunn Hi everyone! Michelle, checking in… I’m a productivity enthusiast, #GTD practitioner, Mac addict, and #OmniFocus fan! #ProdChat
  9. @xianfox Welcome to #prodchat, Christian! I’m looking forward to the conversation!
  10. Q1: ARE YOU GOOD AT DECIDING NOT TO FOCUS ON THE LEAST IMPORTANT PROJECTS / TASKS? #prodchat
  11. Please add #prodchat to your tweets. Questions will come IN ALL CAPS as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. Answer A1, A2, A3, etc. for readability!
  12. Q1: ARE YOU GOOD AT DECIDING NOT TO FOCUS ON THE LEAST IMPORTANT PROJECTS / TASKS? #prodchat
  13. A1: As a long-time Covey practitioner, I use the Merrill-Covey matrix to determine what I should be working on, so I’d say yes. #prodchat
  14. A1 Yeah, I’m pretty good at weighing priorities for both short-term and long-term goals and focusing on what’s important. #ProdChat
  15. A1b: I think where I am most challenged is when I take on too much then prioritizing becomes a chore. :-P #prodchat
  16. A1: my boss’ and my own productivity matrices don’t match. It’s a balancing act. #prodchat
  17. @rsidneysmith Yeah, intrinsically I do that. I try very hard to not find myself in putting out fires mode all the time. :) #ProdChat
  18. Always is! ;)
    RT @xianfox: A1: my boss’ and my own productivity matrices don’t match. It’s a balancing act. #prodchat
  19. @xianfox That’s not a unique challenge, but such a difficult one. Can you have a conversation with your boss about it? #prodchat
  20. Q2: WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE WHAT YOU FOCUS ON? (E.G., BOSS, DEADLINES, SPOUSE/PARTNER, ETC.) #prodchat
  21. Q2: WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE WHAT YOU FOCUS ON? (E.G., BOSS, DEADLINES, SPOUSE/PARTNER, ETC.) #prodchat
  22. @MaryMBacon Welcome to the #prodchat, Mary! Great to have you, and glad to have another Covey matrix practitioner among us! :)
  23. A1: I end up working on what’s really important and high visibility urgent tasks from my boss #prodchat
  24. @michgunn I’ve decided for my 2013-14 year, I’m cancelling projects that are not viable and focusing only on the most important. #prodchat
  25. @michgunn I think that will definitely help on the weekly task/project management level of not having that happen as much. #prodchat
  26. A2 I try to pay attention to what’s important on many levels… current, upcoming, and on the horizon… #ProdChat
  27. A2: My Weekly Review (#GTD) determines what I focus on from week to week, then my Next-Actions list(s) do the rest. #prodchat
  28. A2: My Weekly Review (#GTD) determines what I focus on from week to week, then my Next-Actions list(s) do the rest. #prodchat
  29. @rsidneysmith Tried that. Not effective. I’m too sensitive, etc. #prodchat
  30. A2b: If unexpected tasks/projects come along, again, I step back and assess it against my current week’s goals and Covey matrix. #prodchat
  31. Again, super important to me to not let everything become a fire in order to deal with it… for my sanity. :) #ProdChat
  32. @xianfox That’s tough when you know other things are important too… tough balancing act. #ProdChat
  33. +1 RT @michgunn A2 I try to pay attention to what’s important on many levels… current, upcoming, and on the horizon… #ProdChat
  34. That’s great! MT @rsidneysmith: For 2014… I’m cancelling projects that are not viable and focusing only on the most important. #prodchat
  35. @michgunn For me, I need to look also at what has become backlogged because of current overcommitment. #prodchat
  36. @profkrg Evening, Kenna! Great to have you! How’s my fellow runner doing tonight? :)) #prodchat
  37. Q2a: Store, customer and volunteer needs come first. After that comes the real project list, then my boss’ pet projects. #prodchat
  38. Hey, Kenna! RT @profkrg: Hi, #prodchat! How is everyone this evening?
  39. @rsidneysmith lol. I don’t know that I deserve that label yet, but I’m great. #prodchat
  40. Q2b: I need to make just enough forward motion each week with that last bit. #prodchat
  41. You have an accountability partner, don’t you?? RT @rsidneysmith: @michgunn Hold me to it! ;-) #accountability #prodchat
  42. @xianfox That’s a fair assessment of yourself and your situation. What are other viable solutions then? Change in perspective? #prodchat
  43. RT @profkrg: Hi, #prodchat! How is everyone this evening? > Doing well, I kept missing chat but finally got o, Hope you are well
  44. @michgunn There’s only so much my accountability partner can do! ;-) j/k #prodchat
  45. @xianfox Sounds good! Hopefully you’re tracking accomplishments in your Weekly Review so you can celebrate them! #prodchat
  46. I read that you should stop occasionally during the day and ask “is this what I should be doing right now?” If not, shift tasks. #prodchat
  47. Q3: HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY DECIDE WHAT NOT TO DO AT ANY GIVEN TIME? #prodchat
  48. Q3: HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY DECIDE WHAT NOT TO DO AT ANY GIVEN TIME? #prodchat
  49. Q3: HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY DECIDE WHAT NOT TO DO AT ANY GIVEN TIME? #prodchat
  50. MT @profkrg …you should stop occasionally during the day & ask “is this what I should be doing right now?” If not, shift tasks. #prodchat
  51. @profkrg Yes! And, don’t try to turn at 90 degree angles. It’s about incremental shifts in your work trajectory. #prodchat
  52. @profkrg @MaryMBacon This is a good 1, Mary! Don’t miss it! #prodchat Switched from tweetdeck 2 hootsuite and lost a few streams, I’m back
  53. A3 For me that’s all #GTD. Let’s me be perfectly clear that there’s nothing I’m Not doing that I Should be doing. #ProdChat
  54. @rsidneysmith it usually just means stepping away from a shiny object for me. #prodchat
  55. A3a: I’ve started a list that is literally called “Don’t Do This” and I keep it with me. It’s for habitual crap I tend toward… #prodchat
  56. A3b: Twitter, reading my RSS feeds, focusing too narrowly on my clients’ writing projects. #prodchat
  57. Q3: Calendar, upcoming commitments, available personnel all contribute to defining what to do/not do. #prodchat
  58. Q3: Calendar, upcoming commitments, available personnel all contribute to defining what to do/not do. #prodchat
  59. A3: I knock out anything that must happen that day before anything else. If it’s not on that day’s list, I shouldn’t be doing it. #prodchat
  60. A3c: I’ve also created a standards list for general projects so that I know when to stop focusing on things that are “well done.” #prodchat
  61. A3c: I’ve also created a standards list for general projects so that I know when to stop focusing on things that are “well done.” #prodchat
  62. @rsidneysmith I’ve heard great things about the “don’t do” list. Do you never allow yourself those items? #prodchat
  63. @profkrg I need to start doing that…hitting the big tasks upfront in my day, so that I can manage the rest of the day calmer. #prodchat
  64. But I like those things! @rsidneysmith: A3b: Twitter, reading my RSS feeds, focusing too narrowly on my clients’ writing projects. #prodchat
  65. @xianfox I forgot the “can I delegate this?” I love those items! #prodchat
  66. @profkrg Oh, me too! And, it’s part of my professional world. But there’s a point where I’ve got to limit it. #prodchat
  67. @profkrg I think for me, deciding what not to do, is about learning when to *stop* focusing on something and transition. #prodchat
  68. @rsidneysmith Twitter, chatting in the office, reading things that should be saved for later… The normal stuff. #prodchat
  69. +1 RT @profkrg @xianfox I forgot the “can I delegate this?” I love those items! #prodchat
  70. RT @michgunn A3 For me that’s all #GTD. Let’s me be perfectly clear that there’s nothing I’m Not doing that I Should be doing. #ProdChat
  71. @rsidneysmith @MaryMBacon I’m a big Twubs fan. I usually chat from regular Twitter on my phone. #prodchat
  72. @profkrg Do you use Feedly, Pocket, Safari’s Reading List or another kind of tool? #prodchat
  73. Hardcore mobile chat! RT @profkrg @rsidneysmith @MaryMBacon I’m a big Twubs fan. I usually chat from regular Twitter on my phone. #prodchat
  74. @profkrg Delegating is most of my day. It’s just trying to get the right people focused on the right tasks. #prodchat
  75. @rsidneysmith for me it happens in the afternoon when I’m crashing and I need to do lower level tasks instead of wasting time. #prodchat
  76. @profkrg That makes sense! I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier these past few months, so I gym, running errands… #prodchat
  77. @michgunn I guess it really comes down to the fact that my boss and I have vastly different sets of standards. #prodchat
  78. @profkrg …by 9am, I feel like it’s 4pm and I’ve not started on my tasks/projects for the day! Lol. #prodchat
  79. Been there… ;) RT @xianfox: I guess it really comes down to the fact that my boss and I have vastly different sets of standards. #prodchat
  80. Rock on! RT @profkrg @MaryMBacon I’m basically a chatting badass (read: addict). #prodchat
  81. @xianfox That’s a great realization/understanding. You can work from that platform effectively. Think creatively. #prodchat
  82. Q4: ARE THERE STRATEGIES OR METHODS YOU HAVEN’T USED THAT YOU THINK COULD HELP YOU FOCUS ON MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? #prodchat
  83. A4 I’ve been considering @apinaud‘s two separate browser method. One for work, one for play #ProdChat
  84. Q4 is exactly what I’d like to understand. I’m listening. #prodchat
  85. A4 I also like the idea of RescueTime where it helps you NOT use certain apps for XX amount of time #ProdChat
  86. A4: I constantly consider going totally back to a paper to do list. It just feels more organized and rewarding. #prodchat
  87. @michgunn I fear that would give me anxiety, like when you’re dieting and all you can think about it chocolate and cheese. #prodchat
  88. A4 Also… The #PomodoroTechnique. I know it works for many people. I keep thinking I should give it a try. #ProdChat
  89. RT @michgunn A4 I’ve been considering @apinaud‘s two separate browser method. One for work, one for play #ProdChat
  90. @profkrg, I find paper helpful to get my head back in the game sometimes. But then I transfer it to digital for my own sanity #ProdChat
  91. @ljthornton Is that what you use? Tips? Do you have a digital calendar or paper too? #prodchat
  92. A4: There are several Web browser extensions that can shut off certain websites so you can focus on only work-centric sites. #prodchat
  93. A4: Changing locations where you work on focused work only there, and non-important work elsewhere. #prodchat
  94. A4: Using themes (OS, browser, colored pens, etc.) to determine the importance of what you’re working on. I’ve not tried. #prodchat
  95. @rsidneysmith this is super helpful. I need total (rare) quiet in my office to focus, but I can hyper focus in coffee shops. #prodchat
  96. @rsidneysmith this is super helpful. I need total (rare) quiet in my office to focus, but I can hyper focus in coffee shops. #prodchat
  97. Q5: WHAT CAUSES YOU TO GET DISTRACTED ON THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO (OR SHOULDN’T) DO? #prodchat
  98. Q5: WHAT CAUSES YOU TO GET DISTRACTED ON THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO (OR SHOULDN’T) DO? #prodchat
  99. Q5: WHAT CAUSES YOU TO GET DISTRACTED ON THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO (OR SHOULDN’T) DO? #prodchat
  100. A5 Details… I love the details… and sometimes, well done is good enough. Sadly I like perfection. *sigh* #ProdChat #GottaFixThat
  101. A5 Details… I love the details… and sometimes, well done is good enough. Sadly I like perfection. *sigh* #ProdChat #GottaFixThat
  102. A5: Oh gosh! This is an easy list…anything tech, psychology, neuroscience, or law gets me jazzed and down the rabbit hole! #prodchat
  103. A5: I get mired in, “is this done? Or, can it be improved?” #perfectionism #prodchat
  104. A5 And fires… and other people’s fires. :/ #ProdChat
  105. A5: Or, I start a project, and instead I think of another project that needs work and then I do 45 tasks associated with that. #prodchat
  106. A5: I used to have a gadget problem, but I’ve kicked that habit almost totally…it takes a lot to get a new toy now. #prodchat
  107. A5 A big distraction for me is “doing” during my weekly “review”. Argh!! Hard to stop myself. #ProdChat
  108. A5: I just run out of steam mid afternoon when I still have a ton of stuff to do. #prodchat
  109. No smack talk about my beloved gadgets, please. ;O MT @rsidneysmith: A5: I used to have a gadget problem… #prodchat
  110. @profkrg I find that a good 8oz of protein (e.g., almonds) really helps re-focus me. #prodchat
  111. LOL.None! RT @michgunn No smack talk about my beloved gadgets, please. ;O MT @rsidneysmith: A5: I used to have a gadget problem… #prodchat
  112. Understandable. RT @michgunn A5 A big distraction for me is “doing” during my weekly “review”. Argh!! Hard to stop myself. #ProdChat
  113. @xianfox Raw almonds are best…but any almonds will likely work! :) #prodchat
  114. Q6: WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND MOST TO THOSE HAVING TROUBLE DECIDING ON WHAT NOT TO DO? #prodchat
  115. Q6: WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND MOST TO THOSE HAVING TROUBLE DECIDING ON WHAT NOT TO DO? #prodchat
  116. Q6: WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND MOST TO THOSE HAVING TROUBLE DECIDING ON WHAT NOT TO DO? #prodchat
  117. A6 I like @GTDguy‘s advice to take a full inventory of projects and tasks, so your brain isn’t worried you’re missing something. #ProdChat
  118. A6: Your time wasters are probably on the Internet. Take stock of what you’re doing there. #prodchat
  119. A6: Create a tiered rewards system so that you’re rewarding yourself for doing the things most important to you. #prodchat
  120. @profkrg Amen. Turn off your wireless router or card on occasion to see if that helps! #prodchat
  121. A6 I also think weekly reviews are seriously helpful in knowing what’s on your plate so you can make on the fly priority decisions #ProdChat
  122. MT @michgunn A6 @GTDguy‘s advice: take a full inventory of projects & tasks, so your brain isn’t worried you’re missing something. #ProdChat
  123. RT @profkrg: A6: Your time wasters are probably on the Internet. Take stock of what you’re doing there. #prodchat >> very true!
  124. You also had a good suggestion earlier, Ray. Unsure at work what NOT to focus on? Ask your supervisor for help prioritizing. #ProdChat
  125. Yup. RT @profkrg: A6: Your time wasters are probably on the Internet. Take stock of what you’re doing there. #prodchat
  126. Yeah, funny how helpful that is! MT @rsidneysmith @profkrg Turn off your wireless router or card on occasion to see if that helps! #prodchat
  127. non sequitur… gotta say, I’m liking TweetDeck for #ProdChat. Feed in one column, mentions in another… nice!
  128. I may have to try @profkrg‘s method of straight-up-mobile tweet chatting… sounds challenging! #ProdChat
  129. @michgunn I like chatting from my sofa in the family room on my iPhone instead of having a computer in my lap. #prodchat
  130. @rsidneysmith Yeah, only bummer is remembering to add the #. So I keep twitter (desktop app) open to catch my mistakes and add #ProdChat
  131. @michgunn Yeah, I’ve done #prodchat from my mobile when I can’t be at my laptop, but it’s just too tough to host and chat simultaneously.
  132. @profkrg That makes sense… although I wonder if I’d be able to keep up. I’ll have to give it a try one night. #ProdChat
  133. Thanks #productivity enthusiasts for today’s #ProdChat! Join us next week for another great chat! Check out the transcript tomorrow!
  134. Alrighty, guys. Great fun tonight on #ProdChat. Thanks for the tips and tricks!! I’ll see ya next week. Have a great one! :D
  135. @michgunn I also activate Twitter app to do notifications for mentions during #prodchat so that I don’t miss those when hashtag is missing.
  136. Still… even just chatting mobile is pretty ninja! RT @profkrg: @michgunn I host from my desktop. I’m not that ninja. ;) #prodchat
  137. @profkrg I’m glad to hear that! I thought I was gonna have to up my skills! :-P cc @michgunn #prodchat
  138. @michgunn I hope you test it. It really works incredible well #ProdChat

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