When I hear of a new, complete productivity system, I tend to shudder a little bit.
I have tried them all over the years. The last big sweeping, 100% all-in attempt I made to adopt someone else’s system was when Getting Things Done (GTD) was at the peak of its initial popularity.
It was because that was a complete system that requires you to completely overhaul everything you do…and do it David Allen’s way…that I finally realized what I was doing wrong.
Is this you? Every time you hear of a new “system” you rush out to buy the resource materials, stationery and supplies, convinced that if you embrace the new system properly, and follow it to the letter, your life will miraculously change for the better?
You’re not alone.
it would be very easy for me to offer to you a complete productivity system that will have you writing one million words a year with the minimal amount of sweat and effort. I have that system built, finished and thoroughly field tested.
It’s my system…and it works for me.
That doesn’t mean it will work for you. God, I am so anal and geeky about stuff, I just about guarantee that if you’re not an extreme INTJ, then the way I get things done absolutely will not work for you.
Which is a good thing. Variety is the spice of life.
That’s why I will never try to lure you into adopting my 100% guaranteed money back you-beaut productivity system (with bonuses).
What I will do, instead, is offer you hundreds of strategies and tactics, tools and resources designed to help you write more, sell more and live well. There will be ideas galore on this site. Hundreds of links to other resources, too.
What I want you to promise me–and yourself–is that you won’t try to incorporate every single one of them into your life. You’ll become a gibbering idiot inside a month if you attempt to do everything. It’s just not possible. Some of the ideas I will talk about are diametrically opposed to the ideas I will suggest somewhere else.
Build your own system.
Get smart about productivity. Figure out your own personal quirks and ticks.
Analyse every suggestion, idea, tool and system and take from them the bits that work for you.
For example, the big idea I got from David Allen’s GTD was the idea of “capturing” every single idea. Especially, dumping it somewhere smart to sort out later.
That single idea has been super useful for me and the cornerstone of my own personalized and tailored system.
There isn’t much else in GTD that I still do, anymore.
Sometimes you have to conduct a test run on ideas, to see if they work as effectively as their allure seems to promise. It’s always worth experimenting, because if the idea works for you, then you can incorporate it into your own system on a permanent basis.
It requires a degree of self analysis, so you know what already works well (or, sometimes, just “well enough”) for you, and what needs strengthening–or even simply establishing.
So, don’t think “system” when you’re thinking about productivity, unless it’s your own proprietory, I-made-it system, built out of bits and bites from everything you’ve ever learned about getting more done. Instead, think of strategies, tactics, tools and resources.
Don’t turn your life inside out trying to do it someone else’s way.
Find your way, instead.