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Merlin Mann | May 29 2007
Maybe this is the GTD-er in me, but I have to admit a frustration with projects that peter off because there's no one person near the helm who's dedicated to defining and managing the group's actions. It's a Project Manager role, and if a group doesn't choose and empower one person to take care of it, stuff simply won't get done. Whether it's deciding on a good night for dinner with friends or organizing the next board meeting, we all need a little help turning generic good ideas into real-world coordinates for action.
So, lately, I've found myself informally assuming this role, driving a surprising number of gone-fallow projects just by using Doodle to propose a simple check-in. The bottom line is that this process of getting a stupid 15-minute call on the calendar of several busy people will tell you so more than you can imagine about where you and your project stand. But where's Doodle enter in to it?read more »
Merlin Mann | May 9 2007
As we all learned from Equus, we don't get to choose the things in life that fascinate and repel us, and, in retrospect, if I could have chosen to avoid the avalanche of empty businessspeak I've been exposed to over the past dozen or so years, I certainly would have. Alas, I could not. And, so here I am, alternately repulsed and amused by the twisted patois of nonsense that passes for communication in offices and boardrooms today.
If you share this sad affliction, you may enjoy the pleasures afforded by the Corporate Ipsum Dashboard widget, cleverly (and pointlessly) designed to generate paragraphs and paragraphs of empty insight for your next pitch, presentation, or VC meeting.
In one instance, this paradigm-shifting functionality was a solution-provider for the following bit of kimono-opening stone soup:
At the end of the day: awesome. Sand Hill Road, here I come!
Many thanks to jwines' bookmarks on del.icio.us
Merlin Mann | Mar 26 2007
Yesterday's New York Times front page ran an article pulling together the results of several recent studies looking at how interruptions and attempts to multitask can affect the quality of work as well as the length of recovery time.
Here's one bit that really grabbed me:
And, from a PDF of another of the studies cited ("Isolation of a Central Bottleneck of Information Processing with Time-Resolved fMRI"), here's a telling snippet from the article's abstract (yes, most of the rest of it is well over my head):read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 19 2007
Merlin Mann | Mar 8 2007
I first heard about The War of Art from David Allen during our GTD podcast series last year. I finally picked up a copy a couple months back and read it in an evening. Like a lot of self-help books, it's longer than it needs to be (and it's not actually very long to begin with), but it does make some great points about what its author calls "resistance."
Resistance can be thought of as anything that pulls us away from doing the work we know is most important to us. It takes many forms (including procrastination, fear, distraction, and negative self-talk), but the effect is often similar: we find or permit all kinds of barriers to keep us from becoming the person we want to be, or from completing the thing we really want to make. Whether that's being a published author, a composer, a playwright, or a painter, our impulse to create constantly battles an impulse to do something else, or to do nothing -- to not upset our weirdly comfy stasis.
This book came up twice in my recent interview with Jonathan Coulton; both in part one and today's recently released part two. Jonathan strikes me as someone who has, so far, succeeded at talking down the resistance he'd faced, and now he's doing what he's great at, and, in his words, he's working hard to become the kind of "true person" that he wants to be for his daughter.read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 12 2007
Goldman's back from taking a few months off, and shares a nugget that I like a lot:
Amen, brother, and cf: 83 Problems.
[ via Nelson Minar's Linkblog ]
Merlin Mann | Jan 16 2007
This enjoyable article on burnout includes a bit that I love (and sympathize with):
I suspect that children will eventually support some kind of thin-client email-to-affection gateway. From an evolutionary standpoint, it may be the only solution that scales.
Merlin Mann | Jan 12 2007
As someone who suffers from frequent encoding errors and buffer overflows, I love Adam's idea to start a meeting by mapping the name and location of each attendant, along with their title, etc. Adam writes:
read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 8 2007
In this post from last August, Dave Cheong pointed out some of the hazards of working in a cube farm, and he proposes some handy tips for wresting back your attention from a room full of interruptions and distractions. I think a few of these tips are big winners.
I realize that many of these ideas assume a lot of autonomy and control over your work day as well as how you conduct it -- obviously not every career is conducive to the enforcement of what amounts to "office hours" -- but I think that's kind of the point as well as the irony and the big, bottom-line challenge.read more »
Merlin Mann | Dec 19 2006
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