Frank Patrick


Posts tagged with "productivity"

40 Minute Focus for Breakthrough Results

A video explaining the costs of an “interruption culture” and multi-tasking.

[via Great results (and speed) come from focus from one of my regular sources of good stuff - Jack Vinson]

PM Link: No multitasking for teams either

Along the same lines as yesterday’s post about too many priorities, my old blog-buddy, Jack Vinson talks about how to address three necessary conditions of product management without sub-optimization of any of them…

The big issue is here: each of these drivers requires a very different mindset. Optimizing when you are trying to differentiate will create major problems. And differentiating when you are focused on neutralizing will probably create overkill. You get the picture: each project has to be focused on one goal. And I like the comment that I think I heard at the outset: don’t put the same teams to be on projects that will divide their energies.

[Read No multitasking for teams either from Knowledge Jolt with Jack]

PM Link: Stop Chasing Too Many Priorities

I’ve written a lot about strategic focus in my past life, but this piece from the Harvard Business Review blog, continues to beat the horse that will not die…

We all know instinctively that we cannot do everything - and our companies cannot either. The most pertinent question you can ask is not: “How can I find more business opportunities?” It is: “How can I focus on the opportunities where my company can excel — and then reap the benefits of that discipline?” The key to success is choosing the opportunities that are best for you, learning to turn down many that seem appealing on the surface — and may even represent huge monetary stakes — but do not offer you a real chance to win.

The real, long-term wins require a focus on the constraints inhibiting your efforts and the choice of which one you want to strategically maintain and grow. You’ve got to manage your constraints if you don’t want them to manage you.

[Read the whole thing at Stop Chasing Too Many Priorities]

The Discipline of DE (Do Easy)

I never thought I’d get lessons about mastery and efficiency from beat writer William Burroughs and indie film auteur Gus Van Sant.

DE is a way of doing. DE simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in DE. You can start right now tidying up your flat, moving furniture or books, washing dishes, making tea, sorting papers. Don’t fumble, jerk, grab an object. Drop cool possessive fingers onto it like a gentle old cop making a soft arrest.”

The zen of planning, preparation, and execution…

It’s not the first shot that counts. It’s the first shot that hits.

How fast can you take your time?

[via Dangerous Minds]

Link: Are they metrics or are they numbers?

A good question, well posed.


May I Have Your Attention, Please - Linda Stone, who coined the term ‘continuous partial attention,’ riffs on the intricate connection between breathing, attention and our interactions with technology. More from Stone on time management.

Apr 9

“It’s not the work which kills people, it’s the worry. It’s not the revolution that destroys machinery it’s the friction.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

- Frictionless Work: How to Clear Your Life of Non-Essential Tasks | Zen Habits

Apr 5

The Organization Is Alive

To change an organization from within, it helps to understand four basic circulatory systems, analogous to the channels of communication in a living body.

Hugger-Mugger and Helter-Skelter

[The following is the first of a series of revisits to the best of my old Focused Performance blog, originally published on May 16, 2003.]

Today’s visit to’s Word of the Day page resulted in this gem…

Word of the Day for Friday May 16, 2003 hugger-mugger \HUH-guhr-muh-guhr, noun: 1. A disorderly jumble; muddle; confusion. 2. Secrecy; concealment. adjective: 1. Confused; muddled; disorderly. 2. Secret. adverb: 1. In a muddle or confusion. 2. Secretly.

The word itself made me smile and consider it as a possible “Friday Fun” subject, but then it hit me that in strategies or plans, the potential for a cause-and-effect loop between confusion and concealment is real.

Read More

McGee’s Musings : The problem of incentives in knowledge work

Good piece from old blogging buddy Jim McGee.

The problem with measuring knowledge work is that more is not necessarily better.

Better is better.

And in most cases, better is only recognized well after the knowledge worker has done his/her thing. Just because desirable knowledge work behaviors can be identified, whether they actually result in desirable outcomes of value (which is the real definition of “better”) is the question. There’s usually a lot of downstream interpretation and implementation that can impact it’s effect.

Not really all that amenable to incentives.

The cult of busy

From the piece by Scott Berkun:

"This means people who are always busy are time poor. They have a time shortage. They have time debt. They are either trying to do too much, or they aren’t doing what they’re doing very well. They are failing to either a) be effective with their time b) don’t know what they’re trying to effect, so they scramble away at trying to optimize for everything, which leads to optimizing nothing.
"On the other hand, people who truly have control over time have some in their pocket to give to someone in need. They have a sense of priorities that drives their use of time and can shift away from the specific ordinary work that’s easy to justify, in favor of the more ethereal, deeper things that are harder to justify. They protect their time from trivia and idiocy. These people are time rich. They provide themselves with a surplus of time. They might seem to idle, or to relax, more often then the rest, but that may be a sign of their mastery not their incompetence."