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Last year I wrote about GTD Verbs–highlighting one of Getting Things Done author David Allen’s nuance lessons to carefully choose a single-step verb for tasks and multi-step ones for projects.

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Dear David Allen, The number of ways I treasure your body of work seem countless. Getting Things Done. Your presentation style. The weekly review. Psychic RAM. Deep water of doing. Mind like water. How you dissed me in 2010. The list continues from there. Yours truly, Chicago Productivity Coach

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For three years we at Spark Productivity have been using Workflowy for delegating work. This one-page website and voluminous-blog powerhouse describes itself as a zoomable, powerful digital notebook that accelerates creativity and productivity while providing unprecedented flexibility in organizing your ideas. We agree.

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Many of our executive productivity coaching clients come to us because they’ve postponed organizing their to do list for one day (& night!) too many. They decide getting by for one more quarter is not how they want to live. They empower themselves to work with us to make different choices. To live better. To operate from a place of greater daily control.

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One of the more powerful, yet easily-missed lesson from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done (GTD) is his call to verberize tasks and projects–all the while recognizing the subtle differences between the verbs for each.

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How often do you look at a task on your to do list, know it will be quick to finish, yet not complete the work in the moment? Add to that the re-writing & re-reading this behavior begets. Do you suspect these momentary actions of putting off tasks add up to longer than it would take to just get them done right away?

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How often do you estimate a task and not have it completed in the allotted time? The delay may not be under-estimation, but rather unplanned interruptions.

If you’re unsure what’s stealing your time, we challenge you to document a day of delays in an interruption log where each time you must pause, shift focus, then re-engage in the original task, you document the disruption.

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Spartan Up is a new book relating the preparation and completion of an obstacle course race to that of meeting and achieving goals in our personal and professional lives. We were able to ask the author, Joe DeSena, questions and are sharing his responses to the first of three today. In his words you will notice his honest, humorous, to-the-point style.

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For the last several years late December/early January was the time when I got clear on my annual goals. I would answer most of the questions in Bill Baren’s one-year roadmap, and then I would translate and beautify the vision onto a goals sheet that would hang in my view for monthly monitoring. This year was different. I chose to identify and track systems instead of goals.

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To make a new habit into a rule for ourselves, it is helpful to consider how we respond to the idea of a rule. This could be an outer rule such as a deadline or doctor’s order and/or inner rule like a new year’s resolution or other self-imposed goals. Which of the 4 categories MOST closely describes your response?

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