Tag Archives: Motivation

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 14th December 2008

Hope you have all had a great week.

I have just been to my childrens Christmas nativity and right after this I am heading to my fathers Christmas party at the Hilton in Leeds for yet more festive fun.

Productivity is more important than ever right now as we just have more things to do, and there is a prominent deadline that we have to meet. More about that, as I feel a post coming on later in the week about festive productivity.

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Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 7th December 2008

I eventually took the plunge this week and ordered a MacBook Air. I have been wanting one since they came out but it was only due to some unexpected cash coming my way that I thought what the hell and went ahead to buy one.

My main machine is a 17″ MacBook Pro hooked up to a 30″ display. A great setup but I do miss the portability that you do sacrifice with the 17″ MacBook Pro. It is an amazing machine for moving between my works office and my home office but that is about it.

So, I am sat now on my sofa writing this blog on my MacBook Air. So far I am loving the Air, it just fits the bill for exactly what I need it for. It will never be my main laptop but it is still a very powerful machine for the size.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

Hope you have all had a good week and I have some more posts lined up already for the coming week.

Christmas is approaching at an alarming pace, soon time for a few days rest!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 30th November 2008

I had as great weeks vacation at Centerparcs with my family. I now feel energized and ready to get back to it.

I used my Moleskine and iPhone to their full ability whilst away, making a lot of notes and collecting every thought I had to ensure all my Open Loops were closed.

I had to do quite a catch up when I got back as I did not have 3G access on my Mac but I did on my iPhone.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to the latest December 08 issue of the Online Costco Connections Magazine. The reason for the link is that there is a great GTD Interview with David Allen on Pages 22 to 25.
  • My second link is from Baron.vc is it is a link about Really Getting Things Done with Remember The Milk iPhone App. Remember The Milk is a cool web and iPhone application and the blog post shows you how the author uses them both to Get Things Done.
  • My third link is a link to a video on how to create a GTD Notebook. The link to the video is from heathervescent.com although the link is to Rob Thompsons Blog
  • My fourth link is a link to a post about leaving Things, and moving to OmniFocus. I have not really given Things a proper try yet, as I am too firmly routed to OmniFocus and reading this post makes me glad that it seems my decision is the correct one.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to the iBoughtaMac.com blog about To Do Lists Made Simple. The post focuses on Things as the application of choice. Good contrast to the last link.

I am trying to get one more post in tonight, a post covering the Top 10 Most Downloaded Free Productivity iPhone Apps.

Wishing you all a great week and I am glad to be back.

5 Vacation Productivity Tips

Vacation Productivity
I am going away tomorrow to Centerparcs with my family. I am looking forward to a nice week in the forest spending quality time with my family.

Like many people, I work hard and taking time out is quite hard due to the pressures of running your own business. However, bonding and spending quality time with your family is also very important and getting that work life balance is always key. I have four children so spending time with them is one of my main priorities but luckily I am home a lot so get a lot of time to spend with them.

Luckily, I have always been able to utilize my vacations as great “think tanks”. I always seem to come out of a vacation more energized than when I went in. Some of my greatest ideas have come out of being away on vacation.

I think it is the fact that I remove myself from my daily routine, so my brain is able to focus its thought patterns on other, more creative tasks.

I thought I would take the time to share what I consider to be five great tips for getting the most out of a vacation from a productivity point of view:

1 – Ensure You Leave With No Open Loops

Before you go on vacation, I feel that it is imperative that your Open Loops are closed.

What I mean here for those of you new to the term Open Loops is that you have to ensure your mind is free of niggling tasks that must be done before you leave. In the few days leading up to your vacation, it is very important to hone your productivity skills in order to complete the tasks that must be complete.

I like to prioritize the tasks that must be done before I go away and things that can wait. I do a pre-vacation review and get my task system in place with a clear defined list of actions that I must do in order to go away with a clear mind.

2 – Let People Know You Are Away

I always let people who may be needing me in the week I am away know that I am going to be away. This sets their expectations and removes the worry that you will get something to deal with that is urgent whilst you are away.

A very important thing to do is to set your Out Of Office Assistant letting people clearly know that you are away, when you will be back, who they can contact whilst you are away, and what they can do if they need to contact you.

Using a system like AwayFind is a fantastic resource for covering when you are on vacation. I have just changed my regular Out Of Office message to state that I am away on vacation with limited access to email, but they can still send me an urgent message through AwayFind if needed.

3 – Pack a Good Book

I love to read when I am away. I love biographies and anything which will improve my mind and motivate me. I have just finished reading Tycoon by Peter Jones and I am taking with me this time The Real Deal by James Caan. Book reviews will follow for both these books pretty soon.

Books ignite the spark in my brain and help me with my thinking. I normally pick up some little nuggets of inspiration from these books and it is always nice to see how other people made it. I like to read about success, motivation, and also people who are self made entrepreneur millionaires.

4 – Take a Notebook to help you Collect Your Thoughts

As I have wrote about before, when I am on vacation with an empty mind, I get my most creative thoughts. Because of this, and also the fact that I am not in front of my Mac all day it is very important to take a good notebook and pen with you.

I normally pack a couple of Moleskine’s and a few pens to ensure everything is collected. I always have my iPhone but seem to prefer paper based collection when I am away.

It is so important to collect and record these thoughts as soon as they enter your head. Once I return home, I enjoy recording all these into my GTD system to ensure that they are allocated and scheduled for completion when they need to get done.

5 – Enjoy Yourself!

Last but not least, Enjoy yourself!

You work hard, and you deserve a break! Too many times we are at work dreaming about being at home, and then when we are at home we are dreaming about being at work. It is important to utilize the time on vacation to recharge your batteries so you can return to the office energized!

Well, I will enjoy myself and I know I will have some great productive ideas that will be put to good use on my return.

Do you have any little tips and tricks for getting the most out of your vacations? I would love to hear!

Thanks, and have a productive week!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 23rd November 2008

This week I am linking to five blogs that I have never linked to before. Some of these are established and some are total newbies to Productivity Blogging. Great to see new blogs appearing all the time.

If you have a new blog and have some great posts, be sure to let me know and I will gladly link to your great content in my weekly link roundup.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to a UK based site dedicated to managing your time. This is a great little site with some great resources. Pretty basic information and the site is Adsense heavy but sill a nice little site. It does appear to be a “Made for Adsense” type of site at first glance but the content does check out to be unique.
  • My second link is a link to the GTD tag from the Blue Knight Blog. The main reason for the inclusion of this blog is the information to be found on Pocket Informant. I used to use Pocket Informant on my Windows PDA and loved it. Nice to see it is still going and people are using it in their GTD and Productivity methodologies.
  • My third link is a link to a Scotch Box Hipster PDA (hPDA). A bit of fun and some good information from this new GTD Blogger.
  • My fourth link is a link to the first Google Android GTD Application Review from the Getting Things Done Blogspot Blog. Now, I have never seen an Android phone but looking at the user interface, I do not think the iPhone has much to worry about!
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to a neat little post about taking notes and using MarkUp. Another new blogger that I have never linked to and a blog which does seem to have good resoruces on it.

I am going away tomorrow for a midweek break to Centerparcs in Nottingham. Looking forward to a nice break with the family before the chaos of Christmas sets in.

May not be many posts this week, 3G coverage dependent.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 9th November 2008

The last week has been a great week for this blog. I have seen a steady increase in Feedburner subscriptions and a considerable increase in traffic.

I closely follow the analytics for this blog and it is good to see the average page visits per user on the rise, along with the new visitors brought in from the search engines. I have added a few cool WordPress plugins to help with this, all of which I will blog about in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget, if you are not already a subscriber, please subscribe to this blog with either your favorite Newsreader or you can have the updates delivered via email.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is from TechRadar.com and it is a collection of 50 time saving techniques for Ubuntu. I know from my stats that I have a considerable amount of viewers who use Ubuntu as their operating system of choice so I am sure this link will be useful.
  • My second link is a link to a Life Learning Device. Google Alerts are to thank for this one. It is like a little light that repeats words of wisdom when activated. Looks very quirky!
  • My third link is a link to a blog post about Getting the Most out of a Meeting from The Productivity in Context blog. This is a new blog for me and there are some great posts within.
  • My fourth link is a link to a new little App I have just began playing with called reQall. I briefly reviewed the application yesterday. As Jott is not available in the UK, this looks like the answer. I have to play fully with it and then do a more in-depth review.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to the Top 5 Timesavers from Productivity501. Apart from the Blackberry, I do all of these tips.

Calling it a night now, busy weekend and another busy week ahead.

Thanks, Andrew..

Did I Get Things Done 2.0

SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOGIf you are not already, now is a great time to subscribe to this blog in your favorite RSS reader so you can keep up to date with all the posts.

After a few tweaks here and there the new theme is a go and I am happy to say that I now consider the new site as fully live. I still have to add a few plugins and add some content to some more pages but I guess this aspect of the site will be work in progress.

I have never had a Contact or Advertise page on the site before.

Please use the Contact page to contact myself for any matters relating to the site. I am also looking for guest bloggers so please use this page to contact me if you have an interest in writing for Did I Get Things Done.

This site is for its readers so if you have any suggestions or criticisms, please do let me know so I can improve the site to benefit the readers.

I am also starting to take related adverts from sponsors in order to help fund the site and the ever growing hosting and management costs. If you have a product you would like to advertise, please let me know via the Advertise page and we can hopefully work something out.

I have quite a bit planned for the blog. I am trying to widen it from just a GTD blog to cover my main focus areas of Productivity, Motivation, and Self Development. GTD will always figure high in these as it is the methodology that I started to use over two years ago now.

I thank you for being a visitor to my site and I look forward to achieving my goal of becoming the number one blog for Productivity, Motivation, and Self Development.

I am currently hovering around the 2400 RSS Subscribers and I am trying to get to the next goal of 3000.

Seven Decisions for Success Mind Map

Travelers GiftWhilst going through some old posts from this blog, I pulled out a review of a great book that I read, and reviewed pretty much within the first month of launching this blog.

The book was the Travelers Gift, Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, by Andy Andrews. As the blog has just launched, I think I had around 5 subscribers and I knew all of them!

The book talks about the Seven Decisions for Success. These are based around a story that the author takes you on. This is a motivational and self development book that is based on a fictional story, very similar to the great Og Mandino books.

These seven decisions are based upon stories from inspirational figures from history. The seven decisions are as follows:

  • The Buck Stops Here – Based on Harry Truman
  • I Will Seek Wisdom – Based on King Solomon
  • I am a Person of Action – Based on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
  • I Have a Decided Heart – Based on Christopher Columbus
  • Today I will Choose to be Happy – Based on Anne Frank
  • I Will Greet This Day With a Forgiving Spirit – Based on Abraham Lincoln
  • I Will Persist Without Exception – Based on The Angel Gabriel

I created a free Mind Map for you all to download and read. The Mind Map contains the overview of each of the Seven Decisions For Success as told in the book.

Click on the thumbnail above to download the Mind Map or Follow this Link.

Be sure to also check out the Original Post Review of this Book.

I am thinking of doing some more Mind Maps like this so please let me know your thoughts and if you all like these or not.

Feel free to pass this post on and please share it, I would love as many people as possible to benefit from the Mind Map.

The Magic of Thinking Big – Book Review

One book that I have read quite recently was The Magic of Thinking Big, by Dr David J. Schwartz.

The book is written by Dr David J. Schwartz who was a professor at Georgia State University before starting a consulting firm that focuses on leadership development.

The front cover of the book drew me in with the blurb of “Set your goals high then exceed them!” Being one for believing in the importance of setting goals I thought the book seemed like a good read and the reviews on Amazon where non too shabby so I decided to invest the time in reading the book.

The book is around 350 pages in length and is split into what I would call mini section chapters. There is no real flow to the book with no clear sections and each section/chapter seems to address a specific issue, for example their are chapters called “How to overcome the fear of other people“, “Think as big as you really are“, and “Get the thinking big view of your job“. The benefit of this type of structure is that you can pick up the book and just read one of the 30 page or so chapters and then put it down. I have also found that I have gone back to a few of the chapters since reading it to re-read and the organisation allows you to do so as a reference manual.

I must admit that I found the book quite old fashioned in its thinking and it seemed to cater more for corporate America, people working for large corporates and happy to do so. Being more of an entrepreneur I found some of the advice against my core values, but we are all different, and I did find the book a positive use of my time. The book does utilise real world examples for every aspect that is covered. This helps the reader relate to the advice given as the author explains situations which he has experienced where somebody has benefited from the advice in the book.

The book is very similar to the famous Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill in the fact that it instills the confidence in the reader that you are what you think, and the mind is the strongest muscle in your body that when trained and utilized correctly can bring with it results.

So, in summary, worth a read but not up their with the best books and I would give it a 3 out of 5.

Zig Ziglar – Prime the Pump

I think Zig Ziglar is just great.

If you do not know who he is, he is a Southern American Motivational Speaker and has been on the speaking circuit since the 1980s. I have blogged about Zig before and his Motivational Podcast.

One of the videos on Zigs podcast is one with his very famous Water Pump. This was Zigs trademark in the early days and I urge you to watch this, and hopefully you will make the connection to the words that Zig is saying.

I think there are many truths in this video, ones that can help you in a lot of aspects of your life.

Watch the video, and I would love to have your comments and feedback.