Recently, I started consulting on a regular basis, and I am now feeling all of my time management skills put to the test. I have always prided myself on good time management and good organizational skills, and I’m constantly tweaking my tools and process to optimize efficiency (yes, I am a self-repairing robot). I am, in fact, an unapologetic “devotee” of David Allen and the “Getting Things Done” way of organizing and working. (Yes – it does look like a self help book, and yes, he does talk about reducing stress in your life, but it is extremely practical… I digress). While working through a whole new set of processes for my consulting business, I ran across an old Powerpoint Deck that I put together a couple years ago for some time management training for my team. Some of it is “loosely” based on GTD, and in order to get a glimpse of the “GTD way” you can take a look at the GTD Workflow Chart to understand a bit.I was managing a medium sized team, and it was a mix of a lot of different backgrounds — some music industry, some technology, some a little of both, some with a lot of experience, some not so much – you get the idea. The biggest productivity problems we had seemed, in many cases, to stem from some very core prioritization and work-flow issues.
Experience had taught me that as management, you simply can’t force people into “your way” of organization — especially in a rapid moving tech start-up environment. People have to adapt to their own style and their own natural rhythm. So, what I tried to do was formulate some really simple, non-preachy, ideas around every day decisions that, in aggregate, eventually add up to all of the work we do. There is definitely a good amount of “GTD” influence in here, but I tried to keep it light, simple, and more of a “guiding principle” kind of methodology instead of a “system”. You’ll even notice a fair amount of tongue in cheek in there — I was poking fun at myself for teaching “productivity”. Let me know what you think! I’ll be posting some other interesting stuff about my experience with GTD soon.