"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Albert Einstein
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One of the principles outlined in David Allen's "Getting Things Done" is that of immediately executing those items on our "to do" lists that take 2 minutes or less. Of course, this assumes you're good at identifying those things that are "2-minute tasks" vs. all the rest.
This morning as my wife was leaving to run errands she commented that she nearly decapitated herself on the metal bracket hanging down from the open garage door. This state of affairs is the result of a minor repair project I've undertaken, as our garage door opener has been broken for nearly 2 months. Unfortunately during the disassembly, I neglected to take the opener bracket arm off of the garage door, and this morning my wife encountered it while she was putting things into our Suburban, leading me to my "2-minute task."
How long does it take to remove a bracket? It should be a 2-minute task, and thankfully today it was. Unfortunately, many situations like this crop up in my daily life, and the tasks become projects (or at least longer-running tasks) for a couple of key reasons:
I'm unable to quickly put my hands on the tool(s) needed to complete the task, and
I misjudged the skills or information needed to achieve my goal
Today I got lucky. I knew exactly where the wrenches were that I needed, and unscrewing a bolt-and-nut combination is hardly rocket science, so I completed my 2-minute task and moved on with my day. Having done so, however, has got me thinking about ways I can better organize the tools I use and improve my access to information to assist me in acquiring the skill(s) needed to complete my various "2-minute tasks" and thus improve my productivity.
Here's to our collective "2-minute tasks" -- may we organize to get them done quickly and efficiently without letting them rule our destiny.
I got my invitation to Google Wave on Friday and finally had a few minutes to check it out last night and today. Started my first wave on "cloud computing." Seems fitting to discuss the topic in a new, cloud-based collaboration platform. Of course, I continue to have dialogs on cloud computing in other media, but couldn't resist trying out Google Wave with such a fitting topic.
Right now I've only got about 5 colleagues in Google Wave along with me, but that'll grow over the next few days. I'll post more observations as my community grows and I have more reasons to work in the environment.
Meanwhile, I'm in it and learning my way around. Stay tuned!