Sunday, 1 July 2007

Getting Things Done

Four months after I have finished the book "Getting Things Done", I think I have to admit that I had failed miserably.

Four months ago, I was totally inspired to start organizing things in my life and make a BIG change in my life. Due to
my lack of discipline and distraction in life (due to some incidents), I have just improved barely.

However, my dream is not totally crushed. I understand the whole process better now. And, it seems I know what the best I can do and how to maintain my task lists. I just need to be discipline and maintain the momentum of reviewing the tasks often.

I will start all over again. This time, with more determination to make it works!!!!

My original email to the team when I was trying to promote the book, claiming it is the best book in enhancing the productivity.

From: Susan Lim
Sent: 12 February 2007 00:45
To: All Team Members
Subject: Getting Things Done... are we?

In "Getting Things Done" book, the author said there are 5 steps in every natural planning for virtually every tasks we need to accomplish, be it where to go for dinner, or what you want to eat . (page 58)

The 5 steps are:

1. Defining purpose and principles
2. Outcome visioning
3. Brainstorming
4. Organizing
5. Identifying next actions

Here are the questions asked for the 5 steps:

1. Have you clarified the primary purpose of the project and communicated it to everyone who ought to know it? And have you agreed on the standards and behaviors you’ll need to adhere to make it successful?

2. Have you envisioned the success and considered all the innovative things that might result if you achieved it?

3. Have you gotten all the possible ideas out on the table – everything you need to take into consideration that might affect the outcome?

4. Have you identified the mission-critical components, key milestones, and deliverables?
5. Have you defined all the aspects of the project that could be moved on right now, what the next actions is for each part, and who’s responsible for what?

After reading the questions, the author asked to stop , think about the recent project, and write down the answers of the questions on a paper. I did the practice and I have to admit that I have not done as much as I think I had on planning for the recent projects, and ALL the past projects. More often than not, we jumped right in to steps 4 and 5 without clear understanding and communication of the objectives, and no clear visioning.
Without clear understanding of the purpose , the visioning and thinking of all the possible ideas (Step 1 to 3), we usually completed a project and then found out there are many things more to do to achieve the objectives. I definitely need to improve on this (planning), and I WILL. And I hope we all do.

And the visioning as described in the book are the followings:

i. View the project from beyond the completion date
ii. Envision “WILD SUCCESS” ! (Suspend “Yeah, but …”)

iii. Capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place

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