Monthly Archives: September 2008

GTD and Productivity Links – 7th September 2008

Well, Sunday has come again and it is the time to bring together some great links over the past week. I started to write this post last week and I am saving the links to the post as I find them. Saves me from having to duplicate work when Sunday night comes.

Big thing for this week was the two excellent GTD Seminars from the Office 2.0 Conference. Be sure to check them both out as it is great free content.

Right, here are my links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a nice list of 99 email security tips that I found useful. I found this post via Ian’s Messy Desk.
  • My second link is the 10 Best Firefox Plugins to Increase Productivity. Now, I just switched last week from Safari to Firefox and plugins like these are part of the reason behind my switch. More on that later.
  • My third link is a review of iGTD from Flipping Heck. I like reading Flipping Heck as it is written by a fellow Brit and we do seem to be way outnumbered by our US colleagues and friends!. I used to use iGTD before I started with OmniFocus and this is a great review of the application that is well worth reading.
  • My fourth link is good review of the Things GTD Application for the Mac by Digmo. Now, I have just installed Things and love the look and feel of it although it will take a lot for me to leave OmniFocus behind. I do have to write a comparison of both so I am going to force myself to play and learn Things to see both sides of the story.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is another link to the Office 2.0 Keynote with David Allen and the Office 2.0 GTD Panel. Check them both out if you have not already done so!.

Got a few posts coming this week including a review of the 4-Hour Work Week, a book I have just finished and another update to my Email Experiment.

Hope you all have had a great weekend and see you all next week.

Email Productivity Experiment – Update 1

Over the past few days I have been using my trusty Moleskine to record the number of times I have checked email. I did not change anything about the way I worked, I just checked mail as normal using the default settings on my laptop. I was out a few days and in the office a few days so I evened out my results in order to get a view from a pretty average day.

What I found was quite shocking! I checked email 84 times in an average day. This was split into 62 times during my working day and 22 times outside of work, whilst at home.

I use a Mac, and as my email client. My laptop is hardly ever turned off. It sits on the desk in the office all day, and when I get home it sits on my desk in my study which is a dedicated work room on the ground floor of my house. I have the default setting to check for new email every 5 minutes.

With the default setting to check email every five minutes, that means that my machine checks for email 12 times per hour. I start work at 0800 and leave the office at 1730 so that is 9.5 hours in the office. This equates to my Mac checking for new email 114 times during my normal working day. Out of this 114 times, I checked my mail 62 times. The other 52 times I did not get email. I do not manually check email, but I tend to switch straight to when a new email arrives to read it.

When my machine is in my study at home, I normally have the sound on so that I can hear the new email notification. I don’t jump when I hear the notification but I do log it mentally and then go to my study to check my mail when I pass the room etc..

Lets treat the during office ours and away from office ours as two separate entities. During office hours you would like to think that I am working on something, normally related to a previously collected task or project so these email notifications are an interruption. At home, I should be relaxing with the family, learning by reading, or as most of the time working, but in a more relaxed environment.

Each time I am interrupted and check email I am going to allocate a 90 second penalty. This penalty is against the break in my focus and the time it takes me to regain the flow on the task that I was performing. So, during the working day I have 62 such interruptions. 62 * 90 Seconds equates to 5580 seconds, or 93 minutes. Just over one and a half hours out of my nine and a half hours of productive working time (not counting lunch). Maybe 90 seconds penalty is a bit high, maybe it is too low. Would love to hear your thoughts about it.

The bottom line, and the basis for my next post on this fascinating subject is that I am losing roughly 15.8% of my productive time due to email interruptions.

ScribeFire – Blogging Plugin for FireFox

I am writing this post using ScribeFire, a plugin for Firefox that enables you to blog direct from the browser.

I have been using Safari as my browser of choice for the last year or so but Firefox 3 really has got my attention and I feel a switch to Firefox is real close. It is the plugins such as ScribeFire, Delicious, and a host of SEO related tools that really attract me to Firefox.

Check out this great video below for an introduction to ScribeFire and some of the features it brings. It looks like a great tool but one that has to be learned and hopefully it will save me time and improve my writing ability so I blog more.

GTD Panel at the Upcoming Office 2.0 Conference

Office 2.0
The Office 2.0 Conference starts tomorrow from the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Really wish I could make this one but living in the UK it makes the journey a bit too far and expensive right now although the content looks great.

I was very happy to read on the MindJet Blog that the sessions are going to get recorded and then turned into webinars by Veodia.

The conference has some great speakers including Robert Scoble and the keynote speaker, a certain Mr David Allen.

The opening keynote will be great as well as the GTD Panel which David Allen is chairing.

I will be on the eager look out for the webinars and let you all know as soon as they are published.

Have a great day.