Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Feb 1 2006
Merlin Mann | Jan 23 2006
Merlin Mann | Jan 16 2006
My pal and occasional partner-in-crime, Ethan Kaplan, has begun a series on how he keeps his astonishingly overstimulated life together. The first installment mostly covers his environment and setup for home, work, and mobile computing.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 9 2006
If you don't have one already, draw up a list of all the projects that are on your radar screen right now -- all the active or dormant projects that will require some kind of task work (or even just mental bandwidth) by the end of this month. If you're doing Getting Things Done, you probably already have a list like this, but it might not hurt to just grab a piece of paper and do a fresh "mini-dump" of all the obligations and outcomes that are squatting on the edges of your brainpan.
Study your list, and think about the real value of everything you've theoretically undertaken. Any of these apply...?
Got it? Good. Surprised at how much you actually have on your mind? You ain't alone, sister.
Okay, so now set that list down, and grab a fresh sheet of paper.
Without thinking too deeply about it, start jotting down all the things you'd love to be starting right now. Be reasonable; this isn't about fantasies of unassisted flight or basement alchemy so much as garden-variety growth, development, and fun. What are the things that, given the proper focus and time, would bring you the most satisfaction for the time you spend on it -- or could serve as a bridge to achieving higher aspirations you've been smacking down because you're "too busy" with other stuff?
Good candidates:read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 4 2006
Like a lot of the best fresh starts, this one's a total psych-out; also, like most of the best ones, you won't believe how well it works until you actually try it for yourself.
Merlin Mann | Dec 7 2005
Merlin Mann | Dec 1 2005
[ via Slashdot ]
Damn, this could be pretty big stuff, eh?
I'm guessing at least a few of you out there are rabid Blackberry users -- I've never even used one myself, but I have friends who live on theirs. So, I'm curious: How do you feel about the possibility of losing Blackberry service? If it went away today, what would you use instead? Do you have a fallback plan?
Merlin Mann | Nov 29 2005
ButtUgly: Main_blogentry_231105_1 [The Iteration List]
A very clever and satisfyingly lo-fi way to find the best date for an event based on several people's schedules. By passing around emails with an ASCII, monotype text representation of the possible dates and times, each person uses a symbol to indicate their preference and availability. Very clever stuff.
[ Thanks, Brian ]
Merlin Mann | Nov 28 2005
Bob Parsons may not win any awards for congeniality, but I like the way he lays down the law on managing your time -- with a focus on not being a victim of your own phone. This is tough, in-your-face talk, but frankly I think it's time we get tougher with the people who demand our time.
In my own opinion, you'll never get out from under until you learn to seize back control of your phone and your email inbox; that's the the two places where the world will never stop hollering for your attention; it's up to you to say "no," and hit delete. After all, if you don't respect how you parcel out your time and attention, why should you expect anyone else to?
A few of Bob's observations:read more »
Merlin Mann | Nov 27 2005
Ev's ten rules for a startup are all strong, but #10 particularly caught my eye:
Slightly off-topic, but on my mind...as I commented earlier today, I'm finding myself increasingly uncomfortable framing techniques like GTD strictly in terms of "productivity" (although the ability to be more efficient and productive is definitely a nice perk).
GTD fights stress not by transforming you into a drone or a brainless corporate cog, but by affording a framework for recovering and maintaining smart focus. What you do with that focus is entirely your affair -- clearly people will use it for everything from building a very swell startup to managing their music career and beyond. Gratefully, nowhere does The David say you have to turn into an enormous-toothed White Guy running sales seminars at the La Quinta Inn. In any case, when we're doing GTD right, Ev is right on the money: balance is sewn into every stitch of your week.
Even two years into using GTD, I have to say I'm still pleased -- and sometimes even surprised -- at how well it still works for me. Whenever I fall off the horse, I'm usually just a mini-review away from feeling retuned to my priorities and commitments. I agree with Ev; it's powerful stuff.
I do wonder if there's a better term for GTD's goals and methods than simply "productivity" or even "time management" What do you think? Does it matter?
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