43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Mike Mahon: Whacking the stupid out of his system

Guest Post: Guide to Guerilla Tactics of a Livable GTD system - Lifehacker

Wow. I love this practical outline of stuff Mike Mahon does to get things done. It's primarily a list of useful life-hacky stuff that helps him keep it together, but it also repeatedly brings the funny:

I tried a myriad of techniques and tips. Every article or suggestion was attempted and tested for incorporation into my POS (my own acronym for my Personal Organization System). I began to become bureaucratic and a purist about the most miniscule action items, checking lists and updating statuses. Then one day after writing down that I need to SSSBTFGD (Shit Shower Shave Brush Teeth Floss Get Dressed) I realized it had gone too far and decided to step back and whack the stupid out of my system.

I'm so going to install a "Big Don’t Forget This Stuff Box" right now.

Of my many sins in this mortal coil, the one I might regret most is helping cause one book called "Getting Things Done" to become synonymous with everything from paper to kitchen timers to -- well -- having a job, I guess.

A lot of what Mike's doing here is only orthogonally related to David Allen's actual book (which is so totally okay with me), but it does mostly share reverence for one of the most important lessons of GTD: until you figure out your relationship to all the "stuff" in your life, you're just spinning your wheels. Making hard decisions about your "POS" and whacking the stupid out of it is also just huge. It's the point when you stop thinking about riding a bike and just start pedaling.

Great work, Mike -- and, seriously, congrats to Gina and the Lifehacker crew on their continuing hot streak. It's been really swell and useful the last few weeks in particular.

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »