Life – and a note on delegation

I am up at Mt. Lyford for a week working – or so it was planned on the Horse treks business with Kate. I am the finance manager. Of course I have a swag of other commitments I have made. Mostly to do with my work in the area of supervision with NZAP and the CITP.

Busy, busy, busy.

But we have made a great plan! I will extract data from the MoneyWorks file to make a Grid (see footnote 1) to work out our marketing strategy. OK, upgrade MoneyWorks, talk on phone. Learn how to extract data. But first the February and March reports, then the Annual report, then the April report! And not just reports, but do the data entry work first!

Busy, busy, busy.

Focus, says Kate, but she does not know how unbelievably focussed I am! Yes but that is not your job, you should DELEGATE that! Who the hell to? So I sent her a verbal Memo: Finance department under stress. Need more staff. Urgent. EeeeeeK.

Busy, busy, busy.

IT department in demand. (That is me too.) Website assistance please. Kate has done a great job learning to tweak the websites. Mt. Lyford & Otahuna, but there are complexities, FTP passwords won’t work etc.

Busy, busy, busy.

Marketing – needs a video. Kate made a wonderful video… well took the raw data. To get it on YouTube took ages, extracting the WAV files from the AVI and then editing them back in. DONE! I am really pleased! Look at that video!.

Busy, busy, busy.

Now, crocodiles killed. I am focusing on The Discipline of the Financial Leader. Chapter in E-Myth Mastery. Our bible. Wonderfully inspiring.

Love this line page 191:

“first you have to make sure you are delegating accountability rather than abdicating accountability”

Busy, busy, busy.

So am I in Focus to be writing here?

I think so. There is a theme in this blog & in my mind. It includes the psychological aspects of life & work. I see a connection with GTD and its operationalisation of delegation with the waiting for list and the weekly review.

I also see a connection with dialogue. Delegation can be an order: You do it. That is fine if there is an agreed process. Processes like that require structure. Before struture comes dialogue if we are to eschew “I – It” relationships.

Busy as I am it is useful to get this out of my head!

Continue reading “Life – and a note on delegation”


Mutually exclusive items that between them cover all possibilities. What do you call such a list? (I had the name for them in the past, but it escapes me)
This is one for example. :
What to do with stuff


Anything delegated needs a new task: follow up xxxx with a due date.

Anything deferred needs a next action

Do includes filing, storing

Later – Recalled the name: MeeCee
Tuesday, 26 May, 2009
Continue reading “DDDD”

From the GTDSummit

I have the been scanning twitter with the #gtdsummit hashtag & it is interesting. MindManager people link to this summary, which is the on the topic I have been blogging about, but it looks best in MindManager!

Interesting how each time I see this list it is slightly different. Each new take makes more difference than it would seem. Clarify is different to process. I now call it Clarify/process/review, though as I move on I might refine that.

This map also shows the Focus area in the Making it all Work book as Responsibility.

I have a tag for AOR and AOI areas of Responsibility and Areas of Interest. I use the Focus device in Appigo To Do to show me just those Projects I want on my current list, reviewed anytime but at least weekly.


From David Allen at the GTD Summit

Here is a quick summary of the lecture using the new book. MIAW ( I slightly edited the quote below.)

Control is simply cooperating with reality with conscious intent

Capture: write it down
Clarifying: what does this mean to me?
Organizing: put it where it goes
Reflecting: look through the whole
Engage: Do


Purpose/ Principles – 50,000 How: how do I want to operate as a human being?
Vision – 40,000 Feet How do I see my self and my life
Goals – 30,000 Feet What do I want to accomplish both long term and in the next two years?
Responsibilities – 20,000 Feet What do I have to do
Projects – 10,000 Feet
Actions – Runway

System: build, fill, use

“You are here for a purpose. You are either on purpose or you’re not.” David Allen

“Focus on what has your attention and you’ll find out what really has your attention.” – David Allen

Killing your Children

One of the things I found with GTD is that I get items Off my mind but onto lists, where they continue to haunt me. The system hovers like a spectre – still saying “I need to be done”.
The system hovers like a spectre.
Ruthlessness in reviews may be the answer.

These ideas are things we gave birth to! Was it Cronos who killed his children and ate them? One of the fathers of the Gods? Maybe if we followed his example we’d have more time! (Bad pun)

The trouble is that if I knock them off they might just get back into my mind…


I like this entry in a discussion I found on this. Not only the Sometime/Maybe list either, all projects… I will see how it goes in the reviews in the next few months…

During your weekly review, you should be pruning items off of the someday/maybe list. If something no longer has the relevance it once did, or if you feel the value of completing it is outweighed by the stress of having it on a list, then deleted it; kill it; destroy it; obliterate it from your consciousness. Then feel good that you have said, “once and for all, NO. I am NOT going to do that. I don’t have the time or energy to spend another moment thinking about this thing that has no value in my life”.

Edit: If you promised someone else that you WOULD do that thing, then be sure to tell them that you no longer plan to do it.

The Blogosphere

I have been blogging for a long time – does this count as one: 1997

But I have not used it as an interactive medium, comments never worked well & I have other fora for communication – however with my Thousand Sketches it is a bit different – I want to connect more and I am! My new blog gets 10 time the hits this one does! So that project is putting me more into the nitty gritty of the current Internet. Things to learn:

digg technorati bloglines & who knows whatelse.

I know & use these things but not to their full.

Today it is technorati. Technorati Profile

Lets see how I go!


Technorati tags:

Honouring a Classic

A Beginner's Guide to Effective Email

This is a link to Kaitlin Duck Sherwood's classic and once rather useful guide. Effective Email is not a bad title.  It is, in hindsight an idealistic paper, honourable because of that but also impractical & frustrating.  There is an ideology about email embedded in the work that we now know will remain an ideal. In 2006 this 2000 document is dated.  It is dated not just because it is from the last century or because of new technology (it is somewhat technology neutral, but technology has surpassed these older ideas) but mainly because something completely new is needed

    * to relate to the reality of actual practice
    * to grapple with ineffective practices and fallacies  that have gained more popularity

For example there is a link to a page by Kaitlin Duck Sherwood on Email Overload. Which has a range of tips, some better than others but which is flawed in its attitude to the question.  Even in its title.

There is no such thing as email overload, any more than that there is a library overload, or an art gallery overload, information overload or a shortage of time, or difficult problems… you get the idea, own the challenge, don’t be a victim to abundance in the world; be wise to the flow of stuff.

I am planning some posts here around Email Intelligence.  I want to find the central principles of wise email practices.

This is not a trivial thing, a good practitioner would be a back belt in communication, there would be personal fitness combined with a thorough tradition, and like judo would use the energy in the "enemy" as a source of strength, as a friend.  There may be a bigger topic here – the art of communication in the digital era.  I will however focus (slowly I'm afraid) on principles and practices related to email.  And in case you have not spotted, I am already indebted to David Allen's GTD tradition in my thinking here. They are good on email practice, and I also see limitations.

I recall some earlier posts on this theme.  I will go back & tag some old posts.

Message Notes for Next actions in Thunderbird

Mozilla Update :: Extensions — More Info:Message Notes – User Comments

Ah!! Message Notes does work with Thunderbird 1.5  It is a great thing to have as it enable me to add the Next Action GTD style.  I like the idea of an Icon that others mention in this forum, that would help me know which emails have the NA!

How to make it work for 1.5

by CyberAnth, Tuesday, January 17 2006

–Download the .xpi file. –Change the .xpi extension to .zip and unzip it. (NOTE: an .xpi is basically a .zip file!). There will be a chrome folder and one file called install.rdf. –Open install.rdf in Notepad and make the change that the poster below says. –Make a zip file of the chrome folder and the install.rdf file you just edited, and then change the extension to .xpi –Install using the Extensions interface in Thunderbird. –You are done.

Thanks! to all who contributed to this and for the edit tip!!