Tag Archives: lists

put it on the list.

#moleskine list

I work from both sides of my brain. I can move from choosing shots for a short video to being asked about budget allocations to being asked about moving a person from one office to another. I love the variety, figuring out how to tell a story and figuring out how to get the network connection working in the new space.

I’m finding, however, that the shifts are harder. I’m needing to stop and let my brain move from one side to the other.

Part of what is helping these days is working to get major projects that must get done on a list. And must-get-done-today items. And stuff that I’m told during those moments of brain-shifting.

I’m using a moleskine notebook with squares. It’s expensive (though I used a coupon) which makes me take it seriously. It has little squares which allows me to use it how I want.

Here are some list thoughts today.

1. Be willing to turn the page and start a new list. Sometimes the old list just needs to be retired.

2. Put really simple things on the list (like “make coffee”). Get a victory.

3. Put projects that people hand you during the day on the list so you can cross them off when you get it done. (If you don’t, you’ll get to the end of the day and think, “What, exactly, did I do today?”.)

4. If you have three words for the year, put something from them on your list.

5. Some days do what  Becky says. Limit yourself to six items on the list. It will feel less intimidating.

6. If there is one project that has to get done, make that be the ONLY item on a blank page in your book. Really.

So, what am I missing? What works for you?

By the way, I know it’s not how David Allen says to do it. I’m sorry.


focus is picking

I have a stack of books to read. I have deadlines for some of them. I have personal learning needs for others of them.

I read several books at a time. I have them in every space I occupy. I carry them in my briefcase. I always have.

My problem is that by reading many, I seldom finish any. I sample and browse and skim and and lose track.

I’m realizing this week that if I want to meet my deadlines, I have to focus. I have to pick one book and finish it. And then pick another book. I’m trying to limit how many I carry with me.

I’m considering changing how I “always work” for the sake of getting something done.

So I’ll be reading The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Tim Keller.

Then I’ll be reading Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them by Ed Stetzer (not published yet. That’s why I have it).

Then I’ll be reading … other books.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

And I’m curious, does focus always mean one thing at a time?


Mark Forster describes the AutoFocus system which lists everything and has you pick one thing at a time. Feels friendlier to me, and less complicated, than David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

where i’ve been, where i’ll be.

Just some notes for a sleepy morning. And no picture. It would just be scary.

  • I wrote about Andrew growing up at gnmparents.com this week.
  • Last week, I wrote about Hope and keeping doors (and relationship doors) unlocked.
  • Today, January 1, I’m starting a new blog at 300wordsaday.com. It’s about helping people follow Jesus 300 words a day. (If you put up with the spiritual stuff at levite because of other stuff I write, then you probably don’t want to go over there. On the other hand, if you want 3oo words a day about following, feel free to come over and subscribe.)
  • Two big phrases running through my head these days: deliberate practice and buyer personas. I’ll talk more about them here. Trust me.
  • In May, I’ll be at SOBcon09. I met a bunch of old friends face-to-face there last year.
  • In June, our daughter will graduate from high school. In July, she’ll go to West Virginia on a work project. In August, she’ll go to Bethel College.

Thanks to all of you who joined the readership of Levite. I’ve enjoyed the comments and the emails and the tweets and the conversation. I’m looking forward to the next year.

And away we go.

how to get there

I played a significant role in the election yesterday.

I made coffee.

Our building housed a polling place for two precincts. We provided coffee for the poll workers. I made most of it.

I didn’t, however, feel like being there at 5:00am. I wrote out directions.

1. I identified quantity.(4 scoops)

2. I identified process. (Pour the water in.)

3. I identified errors. (Don’t forget the carafe.)

It was a quick set of instructions, designed not so much for eternity but for one day.

Too often I forget to leave instructions. Too often I worry about every detail.Too often I don’t anticipate. But it was a simple and effective process to help people stay awake for an hour or two.

What is the simplest way you can describe the next thing that you want someone else to be able to do, knowing that something is better than nothing?

8 ways to make yourself jealous

The second in a series of 8 ways posts designed to be as practical as possible.

1. Believe that you came up with that great idea in the team brainstorming time all by yourself.

2. Believe that you are the best one for the job that she got. (Okay, yes, she had more experience, but I’m nicer.)

3. Believe that mom loves him best.

4. Believe that life isn’t too short for that argument.

5. Believe that in spite of your great humility, you ought to be the center of attention in every meeting and party.

6. Believe that when they said “thank you”, they were just being patronizing.

7. Believe that ‘they’ really are out to get you.

8. Believe that it isn’t jealousy, it is accuracy about your contribution.


Related: 8 ways to make yourself angry

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8 ways to make yourself angry

I was reading some list posts and thought, “I can handle that.” But I wasn’t sure what I knew about that anyone cared to know. However, I’m pretty sure that most people will find at least a couple of these helpful.

1. Decide that you are right, no matter what.
2. Establish unreasonable expectations for decorum for a two-year-old at Applebee’s.
3. Avoid sleeping.
4. Believe that you have saved the lives of all these ungrateful people.
5. Invent/create/develop a product/program/process/podcast that will save the planet/souls/time/sanity and believe that its value is self-evident.
6. Expect people and places to not change, and refuse to acknowledge that you have changed.
7. Believe that life is pointless, and then start caring.
8. Hit your thumb with a hammer…when you knew when you started that you should use screws.


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