6 metaways of Getting Things Done

Starting a micro-ISV and putting bread on the table and having a life of some sort is definitely a tall order.

Over on the Joel on Software Business of Software forum today, someone actually suggested doing “polyphasic sleep” where you go 24/7 everyday, keeping to a schedule of naps that net out to about 2.5 hours of sleep a day as a way to make it all work.

2.5 hours of sleep a day, every day? Sounds like something out of the movie A Clockwork Orange.

I can just see the Execduhives running around the halls of certain companies excitedly gibbering to each other over this one, and I admit given my workload it sounds tempting as hell. But. Do. Not. Do. It. Seriously.

As an alternative, here”s my 6 metaways of Getting Things Done both for my clients, my editors and my micro-ISV. These are the biggies. Call them lifehacks if you prefer.

  • Like with Like. Clump the things you do. Errands with Errands, Marketing with Marketing, Tech Support with Tech Support and so on. It takes you a hell of a lot longer to switch types of tasks than you PC, so group what you can group and flow from discrete task to discrete task.
  • Time Shift. Be it shopping at the store or returning email or watching TV or just about anything else, you can pick up significant yardage by doing it on your schedule and not when everyone else is.
  • Move your body, focus your mind. Unless you happen to be an AI on the Internet, that means treating your body as something more than a pudgy container for your overworked brain. Moving your body ” commonly called exercise ” focuses your mind. The biggest timesaver in the world is thinking better. It is not coincidence that David Allen of Getting Things Done fame comes from a martial arts background. Twenty years ago for me it was taekwondo and aerobics; starting 6 weeks ago it’s kickboxing and strength conditioning, and my productivity is twice that of two months ago.
  • Get your To Do List out of your head. Now, I use the software I wrote and sell (MasterList Professional) to do this, but there are plenty of other good desktop and web based and plain old paper-based ways of doing the same thing. Simply put, you have got to get your To Do List out of your mind and out of your way so you can think and work.
  • 1440 is the Law, get over it. You have 1,440 minutes a day and that”s it. What you get out of that time most depends on how you spend it, so start treating the commitments you make, the deadlines you agree to and the way you do things like you were paying cold hard cash for each and every thing, because you are. That means, you are not going to get everything done everyday, or perhaps most days. What matters is did you get the more valuable things done or not?
  • Persevere. I”m not the smartest guy in room, and I”m definitely not the best programmer in the world. But I”m the most persevering son of a bitch on this planet and I do not give in or give up. Nor should you. So don”t waste time trying to do everything all the time, every time, because there”s no way that is going to happen. On the other hand, if you preserve, if you keep coming at what you need to get done, there”s no way you can”t succeed.

Make no mistake: doing your day job, starting your micro-ISV and not ending up estranged or just plain strange makes the product development and marketing stuff look easy, but it is doable, I just know it is!

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