Category Archives: Motivation

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 24th October 2010

Apologies, work dictated that I took a break from my usual posts as I have been rather busy and to be honest, I still am, so there has been an unfamiliar break in the frequency of my posts.

Good thing is that I have learned some new angles on productivity and I am back!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is to a post titled 50 Tips for Improving Productivity that brings together 50 tips linked to other websites that offer productivity advice. One of these tips is my own and that is a great way to grab my attention!
  • My second link is to the new blog of my Wife that is titled Sassy Mum. My wife is a great woman who has just started a lifestyle blog to diary our hectic lives. We live very busy and full lives so her blog will always be an entertaining read.
  • My third link is to an interesting post from Lifehacker.com titled Dangerous Ideas: Getting Started Is Overrated. Interesting and thought provoking post.
  • My fourth link is a link to a very detailed overview of Getting Things Done with Evernote. I am not kidding when I say I use Evernote every single day! Check out this post to see how the author utilises Evernote to Get Things Done.
  • My fifth and last link is to part 13 of a 14 part series from the Simple Dollar where they are discussing the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. This twelfth installment is titled Getting Things Done: The Power of Outcome Focusing. This is an excellent series and well worth the time investment.

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 14th March 2010

I am actually writing this on Friday the 12th of March, my birthday and I am 37 today, or in Hex 0x25 which sounds much better!

I am currently away enjoying myself at the Samling in the Lake District with my wife so this post is on autopilot!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is to a great post titled Productivity and Procrastination from the Quandry Factory blog. This detailed post looks at procrastination and provides some fresh ideas on how to blast through procrastination in order to achieve a higher level of productivity.
  • My second link is a link to another great post from ZenHabits titled The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week. Great post that is so true! I know I have lost this ability.
  • My third link is to the a post covering how to set priorities. This post also includes a video explaining how the author sets priorities. Full of good pointers on how to ascertain what is important and what isn’t.
  • My fourth link is a link to a GTD for Academics from the GTDTimes blog. This in depth article looks at how the GTD Methodology can be used by academics to get things done!
  • My fifth and last link is a link to Part 2 of a Series of Getting Things Done with a Mac. This second part covers the use of the Things GTD Application to work as your partner for the Getting Things Done (GTD) Methodology.

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Gary Vaynerchuck on Net at Night

Gary VaynerchuckI did a review of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It book a few months ago after I had read it.

Although quite short, I really did like the book and found it very refreshing.

Net at Night is a weekly Podcast that I always listen to that features Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur.

It is a social media podcast and one that I find easy listening and great for keeping up with everything that is happening in the social media space.

I was listening to episode 128, which is quite old now and it featured an interview with Gary Vaynerchuck from WineLibrary.tv.

The episode is a great way to catch the passion that Gary puts in to everything that he does.

So, if you have not done already, Check out my review of the Crush It! book and also be sure to listen to Episode 128 of the Net at Night Podcast.

Crush It! – Review of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Social Media Book

If you are involved in social media then no doubt you will have heard of the book Crush It!, by Gary Vaynerchuck.

Gary Vaynerchuck is the guy behind WineLibrary.tv, the excellent video blog that has taken the Wine world by Storm.

Gary has a unique and passionate approach to his work and this is very clear from the reviews he offers via his site. He has built WineLibrary.tv to what it is today mainly by leveraging social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

This book is very up to date and covers cashing in on your passion by utilizing social media web services such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter.

Just looking at the back page of the book shows comments from people such as Tony Robbins, Kevin Rose and Tim Ferris. Hey, if these guys are reading this then shouldn’t you?

Take a quick look at the video below to get a taste of what Gary is about.

It is quite fitting that I first heard about this book via Twitter. Somebody who I follow had sent out a tweet regarding the fact that he had just ordered this book, and this was around 6 months before the launch date.

The book is about social media marketing and it has been excellently marketing via social media.

I used Twitter search to research the book further, having never heard of Gary or WineLibrary.tv and then proceeded straight over to Amazon and placed a pre-order for the book. This was some six months before the estimate release date for the book.

I got my book as soon as it was released and luckily, the coincided with a trip to the Lake District so I could make time to read it and see if the book lived up with the hype.

It is always hard to read a book that has had so much hype as you expect so much from it. Some of the best books I have ever read have been unknown books with catchy or absurd titles that have somehow called to me to read them.

The book consists of 142 pages in 13 chapters. It starts with a great opening chapter that covers who Gary is and where he started. The first chapter is titled “Passion is Everything” and it is easy to feel the passion that Gary has from simply reading this opening chapter.

The book then goes into explaining the model that Gary used in order to launch and make WineLibrary.tv into the successful site that it is today. His passion combined with an excellent work ethic and determination has shaped Gary’s future. He learned to leverage the tools at his disposal such as video blogging and Twitter to reach out to a very wide audience.

Gary reports some paltry results from traditional advertising such as billboards and then some amazing results from simply tweeting about discount codes and offers via Twitter. Traditional advertising is costly and hard to measure the return on investment where social media is generally free and the results are electronic so can be tracked with a good analytics program and a nugget of knowledge.

In summary, this is a very up to date book that provides motivation and instruction on how to utilize social media as a marketing tool to launch an online business. It is quite a short book at 142 pages and one that I managed to finish in just two sessions. It did spark a few thinking points for myself, which is my usual marking scheme when reviewing a book although I would have like to have seen more detail and some areas and also more case studies referenced but I guess Gary is building this from his own experience.

This is a good book and bang up to date covering aspects of Facebook and Twitter that are hot topics right now. It is great to see how you can leverage these social media technologies for the benefit of your business and Gary is a prime example of this success.

Good luck with buying the Jets!

You can follow Gary here on twitter.

If you are involved in online marketing or interested in social media then this is a must read so go ahead and check it out.

Below is the parody music video Gary did for Crush It. Another great use of social media to promote his book.

Have you read this book and do you have any comments? If so, I would love to hear them.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 13th December 2009

Another week is over and more lessons are learned about life and business. I love it when I have productive weeks as I just have where I can learn about the business I am in.

Trying to get some more time for blogging but my business and personal lives are just crammed so full at the minute that I am finding myself exhausted on an evening.

I have got out of the exercise habit so I need to jot myself to get back started again at the gym! That will give me energy even if I cannot muster up the energy to go :)

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a great post titled How to Become a High-Tech Minimalist. Some great tips and tricks in here for achieving a minimalistic environment with technology. I really do think that a de-cluttered environment is a productive one and I try to be as minimalist as possible in everything I do.
  • My second link is a link to a list of free and great iPhone Apps from Gizmodo. Some great apps are listed on here and some I did not know about until reading this post. Of course, one of my personal favourites, Evernote has made the list and if you have not already tried Evernote, what are you waiting for?
  • My third link is to a post titled How To Train Yourself To Be In The Mood You Want. Attitude and your mood are a very important factor in life and the great thing is that you are the person who can change it. You will always do things better when you are in a great and positive mood.
  • My fourth link is a link to a write up about Google’s decision to drop development on Google Notebook and the alternatives you can use. Evernote is mentioned as an alternative and to be honest, I always preferred Evernote over Google Notebook in the first place!
  • My fifth and last link is a link to a post about Using Getting Things Done at Home. This contains some ideas on how the GTD Methodology can help in the home as well as at work.

Hope you all have a great week.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 6th December 2009

Just returned from a great weekend in London with my family and some close friends.

My cold is still hanging around, giving me sinus pain and one of those coughs that you just cannot shake!

I spent four days out of the office last week and drove over 600 miles in two days. Then I finished the week off with a great but hectic weekend in London so I am looking forward to a bit of a rest now!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a great post from Brent Ozar titled How I Use GTD 50,000 Foot Goals. Brent is a Microsoft SQL Server developer and in this post he provides some great information on how he used GTD for those bold and hairy goals!
  • My second link is a link to a nice little post from the Wall Street Journal about How to be More Productive. We can always be more productive but is getting up at 0400 the best way to do it?
  • My third link is to the first post I have linked to or read about Getting Ready For 2010 – Preparation. In under a month it will be 2010 and many people use the start of a new year for a fresh approach to many aspects of their life.
  • My fourth link is a link to a rather interesting post about Hedonist GTD. A slight angle change from the usual but worth the read.
  • My fifth and last link is a link to a review of Omnifocus from the SmokingApps blog titled OmniFocus: An Innovative Approach To Keeping Track Of Your Thoughts. I still use OmniFocus daily and I still love it.

Hope you all have a great week. I hope your Christmas planning is well underway by now..

Success Tip from Shakira

Shakira at GTDI was watching the X Factor a couple of weeks ago when Shakira, the Latin American singer was on. For those of you from the US, the X Factor is the UK show that spawned the American Idol shows in the US. Another one of Simon Cowell’s shows.

Now, after her performance, Shakira Shakira was asked by the host, Dermot, what tips she had for the contestants. Her answer was one that caught my ear.

Shakira replied by stating that the contestants had to apply Intelligent Effort.

This got me thinking….

So many people place such an emphasis on statements like Practice Makes Perfect. Well does it?

What about if you are practicing the wrong things? Or at the wrong intensity?

I am sure that your golf is not going to improve much unless your basics are correct and you are following the guidance of tried and trusted instruction. You will progress to a level and then plateau.

To improve in anything, as Shakira has rightly spotted, you have to practice the right things. You have to be intelligent with your effort so that you are working on tasks and projects that are related to your goals.

So maybe instead of the term Practice Makes Perfect, we can think rather of Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.

However, you cannot hit a target you do not have and I can feel that some goals related posts are long overdue….

Just thought I would share this little nugget with you all and I would love to hear any comments you may have.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 23rd August 2009

First week back and my feet have hardly touched the ground!

Spent a few days trawling through my emails and allocating these to where they should be. I collected over 100 tasks whilst away on OmniFocus for iPhone so these all needed sorting. In fact, Tuesday/Wednesday of this week turned into a great two day review of my current tasks and projects. A mammoth weekly review!

Looking forward to another great week. I am away Thursday to Tuesday in Reeth, Swaledale for another break, looking forward to it already!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a great post from Web Worker Daily titled Postponed: Procrastination. Procrastination is productivity’s biggest enemy! and one which we all face. It is so easy to put things off and drift in the ether rather than focus and do. Great tips from a great blog.
  • My second link is a link to txtGTD, a text based GTD system. This is a cool little script written in AutoHotKey for Windows or Perl for WIndows, Linux, and Mac. I have just found this myself and I am looking at the Perl version as it looks quirky and cool. Check it out and let me know your thoughts on it.
  • My third link is a link to a post titled How To Get More Done As A Freelance Web Designer. Although this is aimed at Web Designers, there are some great generic tips from Lee Munroe, the author of this blog.
  • My fourth link is another Gmail GTD tip titled GTD Action Lists and Gmail Labels from the pennies in a jar blog. Again, I do not use Gmail but I know a lot of people do so be sure to check out this cool little post about GTD using Gmail.
  • My fifth and last link is a link to a review of the Things GTD iPhone application. Nice little review of a great app that I am sure I would use if I was not hooked on OmniFocus!

Wishing you all a very productive week ahead!

Getting Away From it All – Mentally Declutter

Bamburgh castleI have spent the past week on holiday with my family in Northumberland.

I lead a very busy life and there is nothing I enjoy more than taking my family away for a great holiday. What amazed me about this break was the simplicity of it and the fact that a lack of a fast Internet connection made me focus on other areas, for the better!

I am blessed with a great wife and four great children. They can all sometimes suffer with my busy schedule that often involves time way from home working away.

Northumberland is a county on the North East coast of the UK, just above Newcastle. Northumberland is one of the border counties between England and Scotland and because of this there is an amazing array of castles such as Bamburgh Castle (In the picture), Lindisfarne Castle, and my childhood favorite Warkworth Castle.

I spent many great holidays in Northumberland when I was a child. The beaches are great and it is a great place for a proper family holiday.

We have been to Northumberland for the past three years but we normally go in March when the weather is somewhat cooler. This year we decided to go last week in June and I am glad we did.

Taking time away from my busy schedule is quite hard as I do spend a lot of time online and involved in my business.

Time take out to ensure you have a mental declutter!

I did take my MacBook Air with me and of course my iPhone. I have a Vodafone 3G USB modem which got me a rather unusable connection speed of 20 Kbps. My iPhone was not much better but I could receive email so I could keep in touch with work to ensure I could catch up with and answer any issues that needed my attention.

With such bad connectivity I wondered how I was going to survive a week away from high speed Internet and my various daily tools such as Twitter!

My 42″ HD TV had been replaced with a 14″ portable with only terrestrial channels! No Nintendo, no PS3, no Blu-Ray, how was I going to manage?

The strange thing is that I found it extremely refreshing to be totally disconnected for a week. I took a couple of Moleskine notebooks with me and the down time made me think about different things that enabled me to plan a few projects I had been working on and come up with some great ideas that I may not have had in my usual jam packed day.

I managed to collect about 80 new tasks whilst offline. All of these were recorded in my Moleskine. I never make the time to think so having the opportunity to relax and think made me focus on getting things off my mind and onto paper, a great mental declutter!

My children are aged from 3 to 9. They had a fantastic time. We were a minutes walk from the beach and they were happy enjoying the simple things in life for the week. No mention was made of a Nintendo or Playstation and they were very happy taking it easy and playing on the beach and sand dunes.

I have now been back from my holiday for three days and I am already back into the thick of things but luckily the time spent away was very beneficial and I have updated OmniFocus with a lot of great new projects and tasks.

Only three weeks and then I am on my main holiday in Italy for two weeks!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 21st June 2009

Today has been Fathers Day here in the UK and I have had a great day with my family. I awoke to my favorite breakfast, Smoked Haddock and Poached Eggs and the day has been great ever since.

I have had another busy week that I cannot believe is over already. This week I visited Wokingham in the UK to perform an onsite test for a client. This is the last test I have for a good few weeks as I have a lot of work to do in the office now to catch up.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a great blog post from the Happy Topics Blog about How to Learn a Little Every Day. I know that I always try to learn something new every day and the amount of information at our fingertips makes this more realistic than ever!
  • My second link is a link to a post titled The Art of Single tasking. This post looks at the common usage of multi tasking and how single tasking is a better process for productivity.
  • My third link is a link to a great post titled 10 Steps for Turning Gmail into a Productivity Center. I have posted quite a few links for GMail productivity and although I do not use it myself I know these are always well received.
  • My fourth link is a link to a post about How much does GTD cost?. Cost is always an issue and maybe more in today’s economic climate. This post looks at the cost of implementing GTD on a budget. For me this posts misses one key point and that is the money you save from being more productive. That should be more than even the most elaborate GTD implementation!
  • My fifth and last link is a link to Stripped GTD: 3 Habits That Make You More Productive. This posts provides a quick no-nonsense overview of three quick tips for improving your productivity.

Wishing you all a great and productive week!