Posts Tagged ‘getting things done’

  

Why You Need a Definition of Done

Whether you are working on a small task or a large project, do you and your team have a clear understanding of what it takes to complete a piece of work? The Scrum method of software development calls this Definition of Done and touts this as a critical practice for high-performing teams. While I have […]

Avoiding Distractions with Email

This article continues the theme of my previous article on avoiding being disturbed at work by looking at another source of distractions – email. Email is an important form of communication for me at work, but I as previously discussed I cannot afford to let the use of email distract me during my dedicated blocks […]

Boost Productivity Using a Do Not Disturb Policy

I have lately found myself busier than usual with meetings, project reviews, requests for assistance from team members, and the like. This caused me difficulties in finding time to do solo thinking-intensive work – specifically figuring out the architecture & design of a new software system. Books like Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams and Flow: […]

Using the “Next Step” to Improve Your Focus and Productivity

I have discovered a powerful technique for improving my focus and productivity on work tasks that I call the Next Step. I have been consistently using this technique for a while now and I am quite pleased with its benefits. How Does it Work? The basic concept is simple: clearly identify the next task you […]

Six Strategies to Survive Being Buried in Meetings

Have you ever had days or weeks when your calendar was filled seemingly to the brim with meetings? As an experienced software developer in a senior technical role, I find that I am being requested to attend more and more meetings, especially to provide advice or guidance to various teams and to participate in status […]

Personal Learning by Doing

As part of my series on personal learning, I’ve previously written about learning via online reading and reading books. Reading websites and books is a good strategy for gaining knowledge, but works poorly for gaining skill at doing something. Your ability to retain the information you read is also greatly increased when you actively use […]

How to Make Time for the Important

Do you find yourself constantly busy with urgent tasks, left with no time to work on less urgent yet more important activities? In my experience this is a wide-spread problem, both at the workplace and at home. How many people do you know acknowledge the importance of exercise, but claim they don’t have the time? […]

Do More by Doing Less

I recently read the book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. The book is the outcome of a simple question: how can a good or even mediocre company achieve enduring greatness? A research team worked for five years to answer this question, and Good to Great provides […]

Getting Things Done

Thanks to a comment submitted by Brian for my article Working Smarter, Not Harder, I have recently worked through the book Getting Things Done : The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I already considered myself well-organized, yet I found the book extremely helpful. The author takes a bottom-up approach, focusing on presenting an […]

Working Smarter, Not Harder

I have always been fond of the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’, so I enjoyed my recent read of the book Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom DeMarco. The main premise of the book is that being 100% busy (totally efficient) provides no capacity for dealing with change. […]