Addiction Wednesday June 13, 2007

No don’t worry I’m not goanna talk about that today. That’s for another post on a much darker day, probably during a rainy day in Ireland. But what I want to talk about is new media addictions and productivity. Email, crackberries, facebooks, twitters, flickrs, blogging, ipods, txting, feedreaders, Google chat, gmail tracker, etc., etc.,

I spent much of Tuesday wasting some good quality productivity on my RSS feedreader and laughing at the pictures from Douche-fest. Albeit the Douche-fest pictures are off the hook. So frustrating, that I had to cower in a dark corner without internet just to get work done. At that time I decide to listen to one of the panel discussions from SXSW. Low and behold I came across Tim Ferris’ discussion on creating a 4-hour work week.

No, that was not a typo. Ferris actually runs a company on a four-hour work week. He lives under a very extreme regiment, but is still able to run a successful company and life an extravagant lifestyle. You can download the original podcast here and read more about his philosophies on his blog. Anyways, it was a great lecture and there are key elements which really struck a chord with me.

First off, he outsources all of his menial work to 25 Bangladeshi MBAs for $4 an hour. Obviously not everyone has tasks that can be outsourced to India. (Although if it seems that these guys will do anything for $4 an hour.) But the idea of out sourcing menial tasks or areas of key weakness is a great point.

Last week I had to revamp the corporation’s home page and I really suck at copy writing. I can do it, but it is a painfully stressful task. I realized early on that if I did the copy myself I would lose 6-10 hours of productivity; something I couldn’t afford. So what would’ve killed a ridiculous amount of time only took my friend an hour and cost me one email and a quick phone call. It was the perfect solution.

20% of your actions will produce 80% of your results.

In the podcast, He makes some bold and radical points about how to deal with email.

... One of the worst habits you can get into is checking email first thing in the morning. First of all chances are not many people have replied. Second of all you scramble your brain with a collection of scrambles ideas. Make it your goal to finish one large task and project each morning before noon. Focus on the idea of 20-80 to get that one task done, and then answer your email. (This is paraphrased by the way)

I have made this my goal for the week. See, I am a notorious e-mailer/gmail chatter. Probably because I live in a hermit’s universe. Once that Gmail Notifier goes off, I tend to drop everything and put all my focus on making that bitch of an email cleared. I am also compulsive enough that I have to respond to all emails and all chats at all times.

Another idea he brings up about email is how to respond. If it takes more than four lines to answer or is a critical email, use the phone. I know this really isn’t a radical concept, but I think everyone is guilty of using email as the only way to respond because you need to enforce the culture of paper trails. I know at my old job it was burned into my forehead to save all emails to the point that when I left I had over 1,600 emails saved from one single co-worker. (Of course this was before MSN chat… wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

I’ve found these ideas pretty profound and I would suggest downloading the podcast. It’s a good use of an hour.

Categories: The-Blogosphere, The-Corporation, The Pop-Culture

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This makes total sense to me. But it takes a tremendous amount of self control and will power to enforce these ideas.

To help with this in my work I’ve been experimenting with a philosophy known as “Getting Things Done”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done

Seems to work for non-linear, creative professions where multi tasking can be very difficult to maintain effectively.

ryan · Jun 13, 11:45 AM · #permalink

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