Getting Things Done for Technical Communicators

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  • Getting Things DoneforTechnical Communicators

    #TCUK15 workshop

    John Kearney & Karen Mardahl

    29 September 2015

  • Agenda1. Introductions 2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • IntrosHow did Karen and John end up doing this workshop?

  • Two David Allen quotes

  • Two David Allen quotes

    We teach what we need to learn the most.

  • Two David Allen quotes

    We teach what we need to learn the most.

    The greatest human fear is being out of control.

  • Two words

    ControlPerspective

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise 3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • ExerciseGet ready to write on a piece of paper or your device...

  • Exercise1. Purpose

  • Exercise1. Purpose

    2. Vision

  • Exercise1. Purpose

    2. Vision

    3. Ideas

  • Exercise1. Purpose

    2. Vision

    3. Ideas

    4. Structure

  • Exercise1. Purpose

    2. Vision

    3. Ideas

    4. Structure

    5. Next action

  • Exercise1. Purpose

    2. Vision

    3. Ideas

    4. Structure

    5. Next action

    (The natural planning model)

  • ... a wealth of information creates a poverty of

    attention

    - Herbert A. Simon, 1971

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD? 4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • What is GTD?Self-management.

    Key elements?

    1. Control

    2. Perspective

  • What is GTD?Workflow to get control (based on natural planning concept):

    1. Gathering

    2. Processing

    3. Organising

    4. Reviewing

    5. Doing

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms? 5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • How does GTD apply to techcommKaren and John share examples.

    Start thinking about what YOUR examples might be.

  • Johns GTD for TCUK Presentation1. Purpose: To present at TCUK.

    2. Vision: I get through the presentation, noone dies, I get

    good feedback, I get asked back!

    3. Ideas: Key takeaway(s), draft slides, themes, photos,

    topics, intro plan, timing check.

    4. Structure: Key takeaways, intro plan, themes.

    5. Next Actions: Capture takeaway points, compile notes

    made so far, plan weekly time slots, rough out intro.

  • More examples Dealing with

    Helicopter Boss

    Juggling demands

    from two different groups with different models

    License Pack story

    Boss respect

    Peer respect

    Vaccine against

    Imposter Syndrome

    Making your work

    visible

  • Indeed, the limitations of both working and long-term memory are such that you cannot rely on them to recall all the important facts when they are needed.

    - Francis Heylighen & Clment Vidal (2007)

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples 6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • Real-life examples Colour emails

    Hashtag emails

    Mail emails!

    Kanban TOC

    Life-preserver

    Travel plans

  • Make sure your system is sustainable. It should be a benefit, not a burden. Some do fine with just a to-do list and a weekly review.

  • It feels good to feel good about having your work organised!

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods 7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • Tools and methods Squeeze ball

    Noise-cancelling

    headphones

    Productivity tools

    GTD folders

    Scans/photos

    Dictation

    Siloing

    Reviews, daily and weekly

    2-minute tasks

    20-minute chunks

  • The Terror of Unstructured Time

  • Focus

  • To-do list?

    or

    Time-to-think schedule?

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise 8. Whats next?

  • Now its your turn - hands-on time!

  • Sharing from the hands-on activities

    This slide intentionally left blank because it is your canvas.

  • Agenda1. Introductions

    2. The little exercise

    3. What is GTD?

    4. How does GTD apply to techcomms?

    5. Real-life examples

    6. Tools & methods

    7. The big exercise

    8. Whats next?

  • Whats next?What will YOU do next, now that the workshop is concluded?

    What are your

    Next Actions?

  • Reference

    John @jk1440 Kearney Karen @kmdk Mardahl

  • Image & quotation credits Lego. Skyblue-lego. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

    File:Skyblue-lego.jpg#/media/File:Skyblue-lego.jpg

    Lion. Just one lion" by Picture by user:Robek, repositioned by user:Wulfstan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY

    2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Just_one_lion.jpg#/media/File:Just_one_lion.jpg

    Squirrel. Sciurus-vulgaris hernandeangelis stockholm 2008-06-04" by Photograph by: Hernn De AngelisCampephilus - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sciurus-vulgaris_hernandeangelis_stockholm_2008-06-04.jpg#/media/File:Sciurus-vulgaris_hernandeangelis_stockholm_2008-06-04.jpg

    All other photos private

    GTD poster shared with kind permission from Customer Service at The David Allen Company

    H.A. Simon quotes from Simon, H.A. (1971): Designing organizations for an information-rich world, in: Computers,

    Communications and the Public Interest, Martin Greenberger, ed., The Johns Hopkins Press. Referenced in Heylighen Francis. & Vidal, Clment (2007). Getting Things Done: The Science behind Stress-Free Productivity. http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/GTD-cognition.pdf

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