Getting Things Done

How to Apply New Skills

How to Apply New Skills

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Justin, I have attended many courses that make use of skill models, including the VitalSmarts courses. Crucial Conversations, for example, provides a model that outlines what to do before, during, and after a crucial conversation. In Getting Things Done, I learned multiple steps for how...


How to Get the Right Things Done

How to Get the Right Things Done

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as a teenager. I loved it. I purchased the FranklinCovey planner and for years I defined my roles and tried to execute on important-but-not-urgent matters related to those roles. I loved getting clear on my values and...


The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, The two-minute rule often blows up on me. I frequently find that what I thought would be a two-minute task takes longer than two minutes. For example, I’ll open an email and think I can respond quickly by just confirming one thing, but when I check that one thing, I...


What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, GTD teaches that “your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them.” What does the science say? Does it support this statement? Sincerely,Curious GTD Student _____________________ Dear Curious, Your head is a terrible office. Your mind evolved to do...


How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, What’s the best way to say no? On a recent webcast, you mentioned the importance of declining requests and renegotiating commitments. So, I tried it. A coworker came to me with an emergency and I declined to help. I didn’t have the time and I said, “No, I’m sorry. I can’t...


How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, Do you ever feel that technology gets in the way of productivity? That tools slow things down? I agree that some communication and project- and time-management tools are invaluable. But often they get in the way of getting things done. For example, the number of apps and...


One Simple Strategy to Improve Workplace Productivity

One Simple Strategy to Improve Workplace Productivity

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I am the Operations Manager for a small startup that produces caramels. I also wear many other hats, which include doing office administration, HR, and finance work. The business owner is very hands-on but is not clear about goals or priorities. Many projects are started...


Tips For Managing the Nebulous Flow of Life and Work

Tips For Managing the Nebulous Flow of Life and Work

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I get overwhelmed by the huge lists of things to do because I’m not sure which items to work on next. Any suggestions for that? Sincerely, Challenged Prioritizer _____________________ Dear Challenged Prioritizer, Yours is a universally common question, and one I...


How To Ensure To-Do Lists Don’t Overrun Your Life

How To Ensure To-Do Lists Don’t Overrun Your Life

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I have always been a list maker. This has served me well over the years. I’m getting older now and find that I make lists over and over and tend to have multiple lists—on my desk, in my pockets, etc. What can I do to either organize my lists or keep just one list that has...


How to Balance Meetings and Work

How to Balance Meetings and Work

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, How do I find time to do actual work when all I do is spend time in meetings? I wish I could opt out of meetings, but that’s not an acceptable practice at our organization. And yet my work is suffering. Help! Signed,Suffering From Meetingitis ______________________...


The To-Do List: Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

The To-Do List: Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I’ve been reading and hearing about the trend to gravitate away from to-do lists. The consensus is that lists get too long, people suffer from to-do fatigue, and despite having things listed out, they continue to procrastinate. But somehow, I still need to keep track of...


3 Skills For Getting the Most From Your Vacation

3 Skills For Getting the Most From Your Vacation

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I’m back to work after returning from our family’s annual week-long summer trip. I’ve got to be honest, as much as I love getting away with my family, I dread returning to what piles up in my absence. I stress during vacation when I should be relaxing and enjoying time with...