One of my goals for 2008 is to become more efficient. Bottom line is that I want to be effective in all that I do, and being efficient is part of that bigger picture. I want to get the most out of my time, energy, and effort. Some of the unexpected changes and demands over the last 18 months have led to greater discipline in some areas and less in others. I want to honor God in all that I do and how it is done. I want to lead well in this area and set the pace for my team.
It is time to dial some things in, so here is what I have been doing the past eight weeks to become more efficient.
- I have re-read Getting Things Done. This is a great book that provides excellent guidance in organizing projects, prioritizing what to do, and effectively establishing action steps. A few years back I was an ardent follower of this system, but slacked a bit over the last year. Back at it full steam now and I am really seeing the difference. A decent summary of the book here.
- I started using Vitalist. This has been a great tool for implementing the principles of GTD. In the past I have used Outlook for this purpose, but Vitalist is much better.
- I moved to a ZERO BASED INBOX. My email Inbox was getting the best of me, but no longer. I make several email dashes a day, deal with each item and keep it empty. Sure it feels better, but the real win is that I don't read certain emails over and over again, and thus I am more efficient.
- Prioritized a clean desk. Up until a few years ago, this was a non-negotiable for me. I had to have a clean desk. However, it has become a bit messy over the last two years. Reading that a messy desk can waste as much as three hours a week inspired me to get back to a clean desk. I should point out that I have not yet arrived in this area, but I am getting close.
- I started using del.icio.us
- Going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I am trying to max out morning hours more than I have in the past. Typically, I would go to bed about midnight and wake up between 6-7am. Now I am trying to be in bed around 11pm and wake up at 6am.
- Eat less and exercise more. When I am disciplined physically, it has tremendous carryover into other areas.
- Financial Peace University. I will write more on this later, but Carol Ann and I have been following this diligently (most of the time) over the last year and it has been a huge help.