Friday, February 03, 2006

Getting Things Done

Last night, I attended the CJUG-West Symposium and was fortunate to hear Andy Hunt of the Pragmatic Programmer fame. His was a very thoughtprovoking presentation on "Refactoring your WetWare". Hopefully, all his teachings will see the form of a book by the end of the year. He stressed on the need for R-mode thinking in Software Development.

Andy, after the talk did mention about the concept of "Getting Things Done". There is a book by the same name and if you do not have time to scout for it, there is a related website/blog on this:
The Anxiety of Getting Things Done

Also, I would like to point out Andy's blog.
Andy's Hunt's Blog
Dave Thomas's blog

Some additional pointers from his talk:

  1. The Dreyfus Model

  2. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", book by Betty Edwards

  3. Cultivating the R-Mode, Lazanov

  4. Hackers and Painters, by Paul Graham

Some salient points from the talk:
* Cultivate R-Mode Processing.
- White board. Sheets of papers and not computer keyboard.
- Think in isolation for few mins/hours with zero distraction.
- A notebook to jot down ideas and maybe a Fisher Space Pen.

* Accelerate Learning.
- Try doing it first.
- Take small pieces. Get it to work.
- Scan a book for its TOC. Read it once. Make notes/ask questions. Reread it again and then finally discuss it with colleagues.

* Manage the Torrent. (Manage the S/N Ratio)
- Make notes.
- Use a personal wiki.

Also, Andy pointed out that you can get free pocket organizers from Pocket Mod

Interesting statistic:
"Interrupted by email or IM, your IQ drops 10 points. You smoke a joint, IQ drops 4 points".

Also, "Context Switching is a killer to productivity".

GTD Wikipedia