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Pimp Your Work

December 29th, 2007

Video Demo: Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done or GTD is David Allen’s system for personal productivity. I gave away a free copy of the audio book in a contest before. Here’s a summary of the book:

This video shows how you can create your own GTD notebook easily and more economically in lieu of the folders and containers suggested in the book. (Then again I think they weren’t meant to be taken literally). Here’s the video:

By Celine -- 0 comments

December 23rd, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions Contest: 6 Days to Go

What? You haven’t entered the Pimp Your Work contest yet? But it’s almost the 29th!  Plus, the prizes will help you get organized, remove clutter from your life, and make you get things done faster.  Click here for the mechanics of the game.

By Celine -- 1 comment

December 18th, 2007

Pimp Your Work’s “New Year’s Resolutions” Contest

What better way to celebrate the New Year than with a Pimp Your Work contest? Here are the specs:

The Pimpin’ Prize:

  • a copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done in PDF format (a $15 value)
  • a copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done in mp3 format (I forgot how much this cost, but Amazon says $26 and some odd cents)
  • a bunch of other GTD resources in PDF Format (planner templates, the advanced workflow, etc.)

The Rules:

1. First, you must write a blog post listing your New Year’s Resolutions. It’s best to include some productivity related resolutions.

2. Make sure that ABOVE your New Year’s resolutions is a link to BOTH this post AND the Pimp Your Work blog, announcing that you have joined this contest. Here is the exact URL for the post: http://www.pimpyourwork.com/pimp-your-works-new-years-resolutions-contest/

You can say something like “I’m joining this GTD contest sponsored by Pimp Your Work

3. If you list via your blog, your entry will automatically be placed via pingback in the comments below. If you don’t see it there, then leave a comment below with a link to your entry.

If you don’t have a blog, simply list your New Year’s resolutions in the comments section of this post, and you’ll be qualified for an entry.

4. Deadline for entries is December 29, 2020. Wait until January 1, 2020 for the announcement of a randomly drawn winner! (There’s only one winner for this contest.)

What are you waiting for? Share your New Year’s Resolutions the Pimp Your Work way!

By Celine -- 20 comments

December 18th, 2007

Zen-to-Done: A Simple Alternative to GTD

Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits is a popular productivity blog based on the principle of keeping things simple.  His blog and ideas are a breath of fresh air for those whose idea of productivity is buzzing around like a bee and surrounding oneself with as much tools as possible.  So far, Leo is best known for creating the Zen-to-Done (ZTD)  system.

Here’s a summary of what ZTD is all about: click here for a post from Zen Habits

ZTD is an answer to David Allen’s popular Getting Things Done (GTD) system of productivity.  GTD has its own flaws, as Leo noticed, so he decided to improve it.  Here’s a short description from his website:

Zen To Done takes some of the best aspects of a few popular productivity systems (GTD, Stephen Covey and others) and combines them with the mandate of simplicity. It makes things as simple as possible, and no more.

Zen To Done: The Simple Productivity Ebook is a comprehensive collection of the simple productivity tips and techniques developed and practiced by Leo himself.  Apart from the guide itself, the ebook also has resources, forms, and additional material that will help you get more productive - the zen way.



Buy Now

Price: $9.50


Since it’s affordable, and I’ve been a big fan of Zen Habits for awhile now, I’m getting this as a gift for myself this Christmas.  I’m getting my mom a copy too - since she’s always too busy to take a little breather.


I’m going to implement some ZTD techniques more extensively in 2008.  Will let you know my progress.  I’ve found other productivity plans and techniques quite cumbersome, so maybe some of the ZTD concepts have the simplicity I need.


How about you? What productivity style do you use?  Do you have your own system or do you subscribe to an existing system such as GTD?  Share it in the comments!

By Celine -- 0 comments

February 16th, 2007

Cozi, family software that has office applications too

I saw Cozi on Download squad this week:

Through Cozi users can access their family calendar, schedules, and notes information that are stored in the family’s personal system, even when they are on the go. Reminders can be sent out and accessed by any PC or mobile phone you choose. This sounds like the ultimate family planner, 2.0 style. Did I mention it’s free?

Source: Cozi, family-ready software - Download Squad

Cozi looks cool for families, but I wonder if it could be used for a business.  You know something like a little informal (and fun) bulletin board.  Maybe a little kiosk machine in the lobby or common room?  Sure there are other group collaboration tools, but this looks like it might also be fun too.


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By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

January 12th, 2007

Alone-time Required for Creative Best

Presentation Zen, one of my favorite blogs, talks about the need for solitude in order to have effective presentations.

I’d agree with that. But, I’d go much further.

In today’s fast, fast, fast business climate, there has become too little time for reflection. There are lots of reasons for this, of course. Off the top of my head:

  • Too many distractions
  • Too many tasks to complete
  • Too many employees to manage
  • Too much focus on the short term
  • Too much e-mail to process
  • And others.

Thinking Time is a luxury we no longer have. The time to sit back and assess what is important is a lost art — and skill. How many people do you know who can take the time to put their feet up on their desks and just stare at their whiteboard?

In order to have the necessary thinking time, we order ourselves and/or teams off-site from the office — to get away from the interruptions, of course — and then blatently schedule ourselves in ten-minute intervals so that we can see 27-more PowerPoints about our strategies for the coming year and then get ten-minutes to take little stickies and vote on which strategy is the most important for us to work on over the coming year. And that ten-minute exercise becomes what is most important. OMG!

Yes, that was a long, ongoing sentence. Designed to convey the relentless number of tasks that get in the way of just thinking about what’s important.

I don’t know about you, but it takes a while away from it all to get to the point where I can start thinking about what needs to be done. A perspective about what is most important. I can’t do it in ten-minute sticky votes on a wall at an off-site session that is more tightly scheduled than a regular work day.

How about you?

By Scot Herrick -- 0 comments

January 8th, 2007

New Years Resolution Review

Its one week since the first of the year. How many of your resolutions have you kept? Really kept? Really?

The number of blog posts about resolutions last week, while understandable, points out the inherent weakness in making resolutions along with the crowd: the artificial outweighs the need. If you have to make resolutions, you will.

Then you can compare how long you keep your resolution against everyone else and feel popping-proud that you outlasted everyone in keeping your resolution…until February 1st. When what was resolved is still not done.

I do some things at the end of the year, of course:

  • I balance my stock portfolio to make sure I am staying on track. It is an arbitrary time, but if I’m fortunate, I get the Santa Claus Rally in December and reinvest the right way to get the little blip up in January.
  • I list all of the things that my family and I have accomplished during the preceding year. It is easy to focus on the negative and not realize how much change you went through and what you did that made things better for you and your family.

But not New Year resolutions. Too much going on. Too much pressure to get into the swing of resolutions du joir. Too easy to let them go.

No, I make my resolutions at the time reserved just for me: my birthday. There is that marking of time that comes with a birthday. One that can give you a much greater sense of urgency to accomplish what needs to be done. A time when there is no “resolution frenzy” so there is less pressure to just make up some resolution.

Birthdays are a great time to reflect on your life and your needs. That is when I make my goals for the coming “birthday” year and resolve what needs to be done.

Not when I’m wearing silly party hats that don’t do justice to the Pimp I Am.

By Scot Herrick -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2007

Focus on the “To-be” process

In yesterdays post, I wrote about responsiveness and efficiency. In the article referenced, there was another gem that I think is an important pimpalicious work tip: focus on the “to-be” process, not on the current process.

If you or your company have already made the decision to change out something, the vast majority of time you spend on documenting the current something is a waste of time and effort. The decision to change has already been made and how the current process works provided all the reasons to make a change.

Instead, focus on how you want the business process to work with the change — the “to-be” process. Most people already know where the problems are in the current process since they’ve been living with the pain all this time anyway.

Spending more time on the solutions gives everyone the opportunity to optimize how the new process should work, build out the right requirements for any systems changes and find any other issues that could cause problems early on in the game.

This is a hard lesson to implement — people naturally like complaining and if it is complaining about the current process, so be it. But, its time to move on. So focus on how to make it all better and don’t live in the past.

By Scot Herrick -- 2 comments

December 1st, 2006

Get your GTD wallpaper … reminders right before your eyes

Another great GTD tip from LifeDev!  Gotta love a wallpaper that helps to keep you on track.  The colour is nice (this is really important to me, since I’m staring at it all freakin’ day) and simple.  Nice, simple reminders for how to manage the flow (fire hose?) of daily stuff.  You can download it from Anabubla in regular and widescreen versions (I’m using the widescreen and it’s very nice).

Related to this, I’ve been using ClearContext for a while now (they just updated v3 this week too).  I can say without a doubt that it does make my e-mail life easier (if you remember my post on this and Scot’s as well).  Looking at the GTD wallpaper, you can just see that if e-mails are already prioritized for you, half the battle is won.

There you go, have a little Friday fun and pick up a spiffy new wallpaper for your machine.

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By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

November 30th, 2006

Good Things Take Time

CBS Sunday Morning does this thing every once in a while where they go looking for the “good” things in the newspapers across the country so they can report on them.

It takes them quite a while to find the good stuff. In a perfect Tivo world, I watched Sunday morning last night — Wednesday night. The good stuff, the positive news, was tough to find but inspiring to watch.

There was a story on the significant improvement in school scores — and student attitudes about school — in North Philadelphia. Then the pollution control initiative by Dominion Power in Virginia where management decided to implement controls on the coal-fired plant even when not required by law. And then there’s that quirky group of Romeos — Retired Old Men Eating Out — who provide support for older men through daily lunch gatherings.

The stories were inspiring. But there were common themes worth remembering as we go about our daily work:

Good things take time. All of these initiatives started at some point and took a while to show visible results of the improvement. That means that, at first, people resisted the effort to do the good thing. It means that leaders and, eventually, others needed to have faith that what was happening was a good thing and it would work out in the end.

Good things take investment. Dominion Power invested money. Others invested their time. Every one of the groups did the successful thing day after day until what they were doing became the normal thing to do. That’s hard.

Good things start with small groups. In a global economy, it still comes down to a small group of individuals who can change things for the better. The principles may change the world, but the results start small.

Good things will not be noticed. It is incredibly easy to report the fire, the crime, the crisis, and the incompetence. Whether mainstream media or the blogosphere, people naturally gravitate to the crisis of the here and now. Because building something is difficult to report in a sound bite, good things will not be reported until they are a success — and then reported once, ignoring all of the work that went into the success.

As you go about Pimping Your Work, remember that good things take time to create and little successes can help create the confidence needed to continue building the good thing.

What’s a positive creation in your work? How long did it take to become the success it is?

By Scot Herrick -- 2 comments

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