Oftentimes, your head just fills with things to remember.
Your client asked you for something after the meeting when you were standing in the hallway…
There was that direct message on internal chat that you wanted to follow up on…
Dry cleaning must be picked up on Thursday, but the store closes at 7 not 8 this week…
And so on, and so forth…
This clogs up the brain. And though it might be possible for you to remember all those things (really though – it isn’t): Wouldn’t it be better to have a clear head, so you can think instead of remember? Introducing the two minute “mind sweep”.
It seems to be an unwritten rule: The higher up the food chain in business, the shorter and brisker the emails get. Somewhere on the line, the “hello”, the “please” and the “thank you” get lost. At first sight, this might look like unbelievable efficiency. It might look important, even cool – “hey, Bob is so busy and important, he can just write a one-liner and make a whole department work for a week” – but truth be told, it is not cool. It shows a lack of respect, if you ask me.
So however important you are (or think you are):
Open wit a greeting, address people by their names. Say please. Say thank you. End appropriately. Use upper case and lower case, and put in some grammar while you are at it. If you do not have enough time at hand to write a respectful email, pick up the phone and call the person. If there is not enough time to do even that, gosh, I am sorry for you. Go read some of the articles on GTD on this site to increase your personal effectiveness. Cutting down your mails to barfing orders is NOT the way to go to save time.
Ever suffered from the VP-one-line-mail hammer? Experienced good things because you paid attention to write sensible mails? Let the community know! (yeah, I am implying a KillerConsultant community here. Hey, we all have dreams!)
Monday is GTD day at KillerConsultant, but before we dive into a quick intro on what the David-Allen-GTD is all about, a quick primer.
Do consultants even need stuff like that?
I mean, come on. This is a performance profession. Consultants must have all this down from the get go, right? Have you ever met a consultant who struggled juggling tasks? Oh… you did. Have you ever seen a consultant working longer hours than he already does, because things got a bit lost on his big list of “Priority 1″ items? Oh… you did. So the answer of course is (and you saw that coming): YES, we do. Dearly. And because our job is so fast paced most of the time and because we are in the professional services industry, it is crucial for our success and our sanity to be organized, get things done and juggle our plates.
What this GTD-stuff is all about
GTD, the methodology, not the wish to get things done, was created by David Allen. GTD is about…
Capturing anything and everything that has your attention.
Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps.
Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based onhow and when you need to access them.
Keeping current and “on your game” with appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of yourcommitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions)
(Taken from the source, here) Sounds good? Sure did to me. As there are many many good intros to GTD, I won’t try to sum it up again. For a start, read the great article on 43folders, and when you are done there, and you still like the ideas of GTD, then fork out the ten bucks and get the book (amazon us / amazon de).
Now that you got an idea what GTD is about, get ready for next week, where I will introduce the first of many GTD-tools to you that can make your life as a consultant a more organized, stress free and relaxed one.