Getting Things Done

Jason Womack, author of ‘Your Best Just Got Better’, recently did an interview with Susan Heathfield in which he gave 8 tips on how to improve your performance. One of the first tips Jason gave has already improved my performance! As I have said before I have been a list maker for years but what Jason Womack suggested in this interview has caused me to refine my lists. Jason suggests we need three lists, no more, no less. The first list is ‘Things to think about some more’. This helps me by capturing those things for a later time and allows me to focus on the task at hand knowing they will not be forgotten. The second list is ‘Things you’re managing over the next 3 to 9 months’. This helps me see what I have going on in the future. Womack recommends updating the list monthly but reviewing it weekly. I really like this approach because sometimes if you tackle things too early the landscape changes and you have wasted your time. The third list is ‘Things to do in the next 96 hours’. So here is my To Do List, uncluttered with those things I need to think about and my future projects. Simple. Womack goes on in the interview with more tips – including maximizing interruptions. Well worth the read.

Now here is something to help you manage that ‘Things to do in the next 96 hours’ list. Have you heard of Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret? Seinfeld suggests spend some amount of time doing a desired activity every day and when you do, cross off that day on a calendar. This creates a chain of Xs showing your progress. It’s based on the idea that daily action builds habits. Small improvements or actions accumulate into large improvements rapidly because daily action provides ‘compounding interest’. I like this approach because for me any lasting changes need to be incorporated in my lifestyle or they just don’t last. Adam Dachis who wrote this post uses this method for getting in better shape and keeping his apartment clean. For a more detailed explanation click here.

One last tip in closing today. When sending emails instead of putting a subject in the subject line, use an action. That will let the recipient know exactly what you are asking them to do – immediately, helping them be more productive in answering your emails.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at


About Janet, doing it better.

I grew up and still reside in Northern Alberta. While I have numerous interests I am passionate about the Peace River region, its innovation, its people, and the creative spirit that envelopes us all.

Posted on February 22, 2012, in Business Productivity, organizing, performance management, productivity, productivity tools, time management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Clarification required, Janet. Did I read this right? “Womack goes on in the interview with more tips – including maximizing interruptions. Well worth the read.”

    Maximizing interruptions? Here I’ve been focused on minimizing interruptions.

    • Yes you read it right. Womack suggests ‘Keep a stack of sticky notes or 3X5 note cards nearby. On the top of each one, write down a person’s name who you know will interrupt you sometime today. Next time the person comes over to ask, “Do you have a minute?” say yes, and also talk about the few things you’ve come up with that are on your list for them. Resist the urge to interrupt them when you think of something. Simply add it to the list.’ I agree minimizing the interruptions is good but I also like Womack’s tip.

  1. Pingback: Which Productivity Method Would You Choose? « Do it Better

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