Being More Effective

Oct 9th, 2014 | By | Category: Career Growth


QUESTION: What does a Jesuit priest who is a school superintendent, a marketing entrepreneur who writes a weekly newspaper business column, and a New York networking maven have in common?

ANSWER: They are all proponents of effective time management. The first two—the priest and the marketing entrepreneur—are big fans of personal productivity guru David Allen’s method as detailed in his book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Given the dissimilarities of their occupations and how both excel in their careers, I figured that maybe there was something there that I should explore for my own edification.

I’m usually a very organized person, but after changing office spaces both externally and within my own home; after having children coming/going from college to jobs to changing homes and using my home as their personal storage unit; and after having elderly and other family members staying/living with me, then moving on—well, I was getting to the point where I couldn’t find things!

So I implemented Allen’s method and it works!

What I liked most about his method was its:

(1) SIMPLICITY: there’s a workflow diagram that shows every sequence of the process on paperback page 139 of Chapter 7 in easy to follow, easy to implement steps that you can do all at once or in whatever time frames you can free up in your schedule. For me, I’m working it in phases so that I don’t stop the momentum of my growing business and because I have just too huge a scope to do all at once.

(2) FLEXIBILITY: this system works whether you’re on a computer, virtual, or paper system. It integrates so nicely with whatever/however you like to perform your work. No need to go out and buy all new stuff. Allen makes you look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, and then go from there to make the necessary changes that will result in you getting your work done easier, with less stress, in whatever your occupation is.

New York networking maven Andrea Nierenberg is also a follower of David Allen on Twitter (@gtdguy). Her Networking Nugget #22, Time Action Tips to Do Now ( is helping me keep on target for continuous improvement in my time management habits. With a nice 12-step list that’s easy to post where you can see it, Andrea has done it again in spelling out succinctly what’s important to know.

BTW, Nierenberg’s books on networking more effectively and/or her Networking Nugget blogs might be some other resources you might want to consider buying or signing up to receive on a regular basis while you’re at her site reading Networking Nugget #22, Time Action Tips to Do Now.

It seems like there is never enough time. If you have something you want to accomplish in your life and/or if you want your life to be less stressed, becoming more effective in how you spend your time is worth the initial and ongoing changes/efforts.

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