You all know I am interested in personal effectiveness. For some reason, a number of things have come across my eyes and ears recently that relate to the idea of personal productivity / multitasking. Here are a few.
Alistair Cameron has a great suggestion in If you don't have passion and purpose, greater productivity won't help you!
If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now!
Stop right now and confront the cold hard facts for what they are: no amount of effectiveness training, time management skills, productivity tips and tricks or goal setting know-how will replace the critical missing ingredient of your life: passion.
Bingo. All the Getting Things Done and Seven Habits in the world won't make you happier if what you are DOING is making you unhappy or unfulfilled. I must note that both of these methods talk about spending time figuring out what you should be doing, it's just that much of the discussion revolves around the daily mechanics.
Someone in my reading list pointed to Tim Ferriss' talk at SXSW Interactive this year, and I found it to be a great listen. He's the rather offbeat author of The Four Hour Workweek, and his suggestions follow along with many of the general be-smart-about-how-you-work suggestions. He drops in references to Parkinson's Law in relation to creating time, and to the 80/20 Rule in relation to deciding what is important. He doesn't like all the focus on time management and efficiency management. He strongly recommends against reading email in the morning because it "jumbles the brain with too many inputs" at the beginning of the day, when it is more important to focus on the priority activity. And he presents a number of examples for implementing his ideas in life with the goal of getting more out of less work.
And then I discover in Alistair Cameron's post that there is a series of articles linked to Ben Yoskovitz' Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project. No wonder I am seeing these things out there so much. The project has already collected a wide variety of suggestions. Go have a look.