Archive - Systems & Tips

Seth Godin on Busy Work

If you sat at work all day watching Hawaii Five-O reruns, you’d probably lose your job. But it’s apparently fine to tweak and update your Facebook account for an hour. That’s “connecting to your social graph.”

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Why I Disagree with the Experts on Living out Priorities

We’ve looked at how busyness can be a sign of laziness. But how do we solve this? How do we keep ourselves from filling our schedules with low-value tasks?

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One Simple Tip to Drink More Water

You may have heard that 90% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated or that you need to consume gallons of pure water every day to maintain your health. We’re told that coffee, soda, or other caffeinated drinks actually dehydrate you and should be avoided.

I’m not entirely convinced about all of that. Research has shown that we get a great deal of water from the foods we eat. And good news for coffee drinkers: studies reveal that coffee, tea, soda, and juices hydrate you just as well as pure water.

That being said, it’s practically harmless to drink more water. So why not?

I’ve been using one simple trick to drink a lot more water on a daily basis, and I was surprised at how much better I felt.

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Time Management for Overworked Church Workers

The following is a guest post from Nick Thacker.

Are you a church worker, pastor, or volunteer? Are you the kind of person who spends every waking hour (literally) on Sunday mornings helping out with anything and everything?

Do you struggle with finding the time to prepare throughout the week to serve effectively on Sunday? Is stress on Sunday morning sometimes a barrier to you being spiritually fed?

I’m one of those people. Currently, I’m serving as the Music Director for my small church plant in Texas, and I’ve also served briefly as the Youth Director. During the week, I’m a marketing consultant at a Christian website. I run a Christian worship leader resource website, a personal blog, a side business – and I’m writing a novel.

I’m not trying to impress anyone with the amount of stuff I’ve got going on—I know you all have your “stuff” as well—kids, spouses, softball leagues, businesses, etc.—I’m just trying to point out that without a clarified, specific, and consistent “action plan” for my week, it’d be impossible for me to be ready for Sunday morning.

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Two Contexts That Can Save You a Lot of Time

We’ve looked at how to think about your life in terms of contexts in order to make the most of every moment.

There seem to be some particular contexts that many people have problems with, but the good news is that these present a lot of potential for improvement.

Here are two such contexts to think about in terms of your life. Take a little time to consider your situation and see what plans you could implement to maximize these times.

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Contexts: How to Maximize Each Moment

You’re on a four-hour plane trip. What can you work on to stay productive in that time?
You’re waiting at the doctor’s office. How can you make the most of the situation?

What about when your internet is down? Or when the kids get home from school in the afternoon? Or when you’re commuting? What can you do during those different circumstances to maximize every moment?

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My Capture Device Recommendations

In this series, we’ve looked at the benefits of using a capture device, some strategies on using a capture device, and even why I don’t like to use my iPhone as a capture device.

Now that we’ve got a lot of the underlying philosophies down, I wanted to wrap up by talking about what I’ve found works for me as a capture device.
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Why I Don’t Use My iPhone as a Capture Device

After seeing the benefits of a capture device and thinking of a strategy to use it, people sometimes still struggle with using capture tools regularly.

I think this issue stems from choosing the wrong capture device, because not all devices are created equally. Deciding which one to use in the first place is something that we must think about in order to make the best use of our strategy.

For many, it seems like a no-brainer to use your smartphone. You always have it with you and it’s so powerful, why would you use anything else? But I believe using a smartphone as a capture tool is a mistake for most people.

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Principles and Techniques for Using a Capture Device

If you’re convinced about the benefits of having a capture device, how do you go about actually using one in real life?

Here are some basic principles to follow, as well as some of my own personal thoughts on how to get the most from your capture device strategy.
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Why You Should Use a Ubiquitous Capture Device

One of the great takeaways from the GTD system is the concept of a ubiquitous capture device.

It’s an absurdly complicated name for a very simple thing: having some way of writing down or recording ideas as they come to you throughout the day. (Ubiquitous simply means it’s always there in case you need it.) For instance, you could use a pen and paper, an iPhone, or a pocket voice recorder.

This practice is something that I’ve found to be very beneficial and something that I would strongly recommend to anyone.
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