Project management

Just-In-Time PM #4: Intermediate Packets

In Part 3, I argued that having a personal knowledge base is the linchpin of success in a creative economy.

A knowledge base allows you to reuse past work, draw from past experiences, share your knowledge in concrete form, and eventually, build products and services out of that knowledge.

This requires strategically structuring your work in the first place, as a series of what I call intermediate packets.

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Just-In-Time PM #3: Flow Cycles

In Part 2, I described the sublime and powerful experience of flow, which could be considered the “holy grail” of productivity.

I argued that there is theoretically no minimum amount of time necessary to get into flow, contrary to popular belief. But in reality, as always, it’s a bit more complicated. Let’s look at what this looks like in a typical working session of a couple hours.

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Just-In-Time PM #2: The Fundamentals of Flow

In Part 1, I introduced Return-on-Attention (ROA) as a way to evaluate how we invest our most precious resource – our attention.

But there is a key difference between investing money and investing attention. Units of currency are always uniform and interchangeable. Units of attention, on the other hand, are not at all created equal.

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PARA Part 7: Creating a Project Network

The Values-First Era at the dawn of corporate America told us that character was the most important thing. If you were a virtuous person, living according to principles and high ideals, you’d be successful. But then the cutthroat corporate culture of the 1980’s set in, and everyone realized they had to look out for their own interests.

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PARA Part 6: Small-Batch Projects for Focus, Creativity, and Perspective

In P.A.R.A Part I, I argued that the Project List was the lynchpin of modern productivity, serving as a dashboard of your current commitments and the bridge between actionable and reference systems.

But formulating a Project List is also one of the most difficult exercises for most people to complete. And I’m not the only one to notice. David Allen has written:

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PARA Part 5: The Project List Mindsweep

Welcome to the Project List Mindsweep, a step-by-step exercise to help you properly identify every project in your work and life.

Your Project List is a list of the outcomes or goals you are currently committed to, all in one place. It serves as a dashboard of your current workload, helping you grasp the current progress of your projects with just a glance.

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The Monthly Review is a Systems Check

In The Weekly Review is an Operating System, I detailed the process I go through each week to capture any new open loops, clear my workspaces, and nail down the events and commitments for the week. In this article, I’d like to do the same for my Monthly Review (MR). Because the MR touches on…

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Theory of Constraints 111: Critical Chain Project Management

A SERIES OF 5-MINUTE POSTS ON APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF FLOW TO KNOWLEDGE WORK
If I asked you to tell me how many minutes it takes you to get to work, what would you say?

The number you thought of is probably an average. Sometimes it takes less, sometimes more, but most days it’s clustered around the middle. Let’s say it’s 30 minutes:

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The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information

Imagine for a moment the perfect organizational system. One that supported and enhanced the work you do, telling you exactly where to put a piece of information, and exactly where to find it when you needed it.

This system would have to be:

universal, encompassing any conceivable kind of information from any source
flexible, able to work with any project or activity you take on, now and in the future

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Bending the Curves of Productivity

Originally published on the Evernote blog To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. Consider a typical working session of a couple hours. You set aside the time, silence your phone, and clear your desk, determined to finish some Work of Real Value. We know that time…

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