Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Are you getting things done?

“Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever had a day start off with a million things to do, and at the end of it, not manage to strike even one of them off the list? Often the tasks at hand are huge ones, like writing a business plan, creating a brochure or even developing a website. Chances are, if you have, write a business plan on a to-do list, it is not going to get completed when you need it. Lets face it, most of us have procrastinated at some point in time. Some do it more regularly than others. As an entrepreneur, your plate is usually full, and procrastination comes at a heavy opportunity cost. We have to do whatever it takes, to make sure that we use our time optimally. Time management is a topic I wrote about earlier this year. Since then, I have changed my time management methodologies and now use the GTD (Getting things done) methodology, it has helped me greatly in getting more accomplished.

The GTD methodology was developed by Mr. David Allen. It is a simple system which helps streamline many of the tasks we do on a daily basis. Before I started using this system, my mind used to race from one project to the next. If I receive an important email while busy writing a report, I often just switch tasks, and that is ususally the end of the report. Things such phone calls and uncalled for meetings were draining a lot of my day. This system got me started on a concept called, working in a particular context. Which means, I partition my day contexts such as responding to emails, phone calls, thinking, reading and a host of other activities where I can see all the tasks related to that context. It made a world of difference.

Over the course of this week, I plan to outline some key components of the system. This will help individuals who do not know this methodology to learn a little more about it. Pointers from this series can be applied to your daily schedule, and you can test out which components of the system to incorporate into your schedule without disrupting it too much. In the end the focus has to be on execution and delivering results. We could talk incessantly about the business we want to start, or the new product that needs to be launched. Unless we take decisive action, we will not get anything accomplished. I hope this system will be of as much benefit to you, as it has for me.

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Filed under: Advice, Strategy, Time Management, , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. Troy Malone says:

    Hi there Usman! I just found your blog and I am now following you on Twitter. What a great blog. I love it. I am a serial entrepreneur myself and I love the content of your blog. It is like a great journal of everything startup. Just looking at your categories wants me to write them down for all the things I should be thinking about and taking action on.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading. Keep up the good work.

  2. Usman Sheikh says:

    Hi Troy. Thank you for the compliments. I hope you find the information useful. The site is going to be getting a lot better in the first quarter of 09 so keep checking back.

    Just saw your product page. The demo was very well done. Best of luck with your product launch.

    Regards

    Usman

  3. Dan says:

    Great article.

    For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.

  4. I used and taught Covey and Daytimer for many years before reading David Allen’s GTD book and switching to GTD. And then I found an application that allows me to view my entire GTD at work on my Win machine, at home on my Macs and even on my cell phone. And another app lets me call in tasks to my GTD without any writing or typing, great for those thoughts that hit me while driving.

    Many people just need a simple way to get started with Time Management. I recently wrote a post on my blog entitled “How to Get Started with GTD” at http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/how-to-get-started-with-gtd/ that your readers may find helpful. John

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