"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.
On My Own - Doing It By The Numbers Over the weekend I got my first call on a consulting opportunity. A few calls later I realized something - I hadn't figured out how to price my "product!" It's pretty hard for someone to buy something (or even determine whether they're interested) if they don't know the price. Of course, that realization came after I nailed down something even more important...my resume. I promised lots of friends, colleagues and former co-workers that I'd let them know how things are going, so I plan to catalog the steps in my process here on my blog in the unlikely event that someone else decides to pursue a similar path. I know this has probably all been written about before, but some of us are just too darned bull-headed to learn lessons from other people and need to make our own mistakes, carve our own paths. Step #1 - Define Your Product (aka Update Your Resume) I know most people probably keep their resumes current by looking at
Date Night! On those seemingly rare occasions when everything falls into place and events proceed as though following the script of a romantic classic, it's good to savor the moment. I've been savoring now for 28 hours... My wife and I escaped our home last Saturday night to enjoy an evening of unfettered relaxation. We'd engaged the kids' favorite babysitter, and left the house with a simple plan, only 3 generally-defined destinations. We arrived for Catholic Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis at about 4:30. We were early, and discovered a wedding party just departing. As we entered the church, I was drawn back to my childhood attendance of Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye . Though the church of my childhood is somewhat less grand than the Basilica, the notable similarities helped inaugurate our evening with pleasant reminiscence. Once Mass had concluded, we returned to the car and drove the 3 blocks to the Walker Art Center fo