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Foo for Bar: Kicking Ass with Outcome-Based Thinking
Merlin Mann | Aug 8 2008
The other day, I was talking with someone who is trying to encourage a Getting Things Done-like work approach amongst the people on his team. We started talking about which parts of David Allen's GTD system appear to have the greatest long-term impact on the people who have adopted it and who ultimately stick with it for years.
When asked to distill everything down to its most powerful concepts, I came up with three, and here's how I'd summarize each:
While I think stuff like ubiquitous capture, the Natural Planning Model, the Two-Minute Rule, and many other bits are arguably as important, these are the three things that I feel have the biggest impact on how people's results change over time.
If you focus on trying to master these three things in the service of stuff you think is valuable, you're going to accomplish some grand work.
Slightly related, I wanted to share a modest, GTD-esque idea for a fast way to identify the actual Project and Next Action from within a big bunch of "stuff."
Think about the thing that's most on your mind right now. It's probably not the thing you think is most on your mind; the stuff that's really getting our attention likes to run behind the refrigerator whenever we turn the lights on. But, anyway. Got it? Okay.
Let's say you now have in your mind something that needs to be different than how it currently is. For me it's:
If I re-articulate that in the following format:
I get something like this:
Now I've said something I can use; I have a Next Action (reviewing and editing my slides for 60 minutes) and a Project (presenting a kickass talk in Scottsdale).
This is Outcome-Based Thinking 101, but I think it can be a powerful way to focus when you're feeling adrift about what to do with a something.
Give it a try, forcing yourself to sketch more than the shadows of anxiety, priority, or resignation. Envision what this would look like if you really kicked ass, then figure out the next physical action that gets your kicking foot into motion.
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