<img src=’http://www.lifeclever.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/gtd_1976.jpg’ alt=’Edward Bliss’s Getting Things Done’ class=”large” />David Allen’s Getting Things Done is a phenomenal hit. But before it spawned a new productivity cult, another book with the same title also tried to banish the i’ll-do-it-later bug plaguing us.
Published in 1976, Edwin Bliss’s Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management didn’t make the same splendiferous splash as David Allen’s GTD. It’s easy to see why. While Allen outlines a holistic approach to productivity, Bliss only presents a series of unconnected entries. Kinda like a blog. ;-)
Despite it’s lack of cohesion, it does have a few gems. Here are my favorite excerpts:
1. Parkinson’s Law
“Professor Parkinson was right: work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
“When you think in terms of the task, instead of in terms of the time available for it, the sin of perfection sets in. You can always put one or two more finishing touches on the job, and can con yourself into chalking these up to excellence when in reality you should chalk them up to wheel spinning”
“The only way to overcome this is to work Parkinson’s principle in reverse–set a deadline for each task and hold to that deadline”
2. Eat lunch later
“A practice that many people find useful is to postpone lunch until 1pm or later, using the noon hour for work. In most offices, phone calls and other interruptions are less likely then–and you have the added bonus of quicker service at the cafeteria or in a restaurant when the rush hour is over.”
3. Protect your prime time
“Most of your work gets done in only a portion of your working day, the time we might designate prime time.
“For most people, the first couple of hours of the day are prime time. But many of us ignore this fact and spend those hours doing routine tasks: reading the morning mail (which seldom contains top-priority items, reading periodicals, glancing through the morning newspaper, making routine phone calls, and so on. Id doesn’t take much though to see the waste this entails; the best time of the day should be spent on the things that matter most, the things that require top energy, complete alertness, greatest creativity.”
4. Read selectively, not faster
“If your problem is that you spend too much time reading, a rapid-reading course won’t solve it. The solution is to read more selectively
“It is true that some people have bad reading habits, such as subvocalizing or rereading phrases unnecessarily. A reading course can help break those patterns and increase speed somewhat. But a surprising number of students who make some progress in increasing reading speed report that after a few months they slip back into their old patterns.
“It is difficult to resist the lure of reading, especially when there is something less pleasant that you should be doing. Keep in mind these words of British critic F. L. Lucas: ‘It is mere common sense never to undertake a piece of work, or read a book, without asking, ‘Is it worth the amount of life it will cost?'”