Robert Peake Archives - Next Action Associates
Listening to your commitments

Listening to your commitments

“I’ll get right on it, boss,” the new recruit beams back at me. There’s just one problem – he doesn’t write it down. When I mention this, his face falls, as if to say, “Don’t you trust me?” Still, I am not too...
Are you playing the game blindfolded? Check, mate.

Are you playing the game blindfolded? Check, mate.

As a teenager, I used to play competitive chess. One of the most exciting spectacles in this world is the exhibition match, where a single player would compete against numerous other players simultaneously. I got to participate in one such match against a Russian...
We’ve got a bleeder!

We’ve got a bleeder!

Blood and fire are two inputs that make their priorities clear: drop everything! And call an ambulance or find a fire extinguisher, because nothing matters more. In the course of teaching GTD, people regularly ask about effective prioritisation, and what they are...
Eating the Menu

Eating the Menu

It’s a nice place. You have been here before, and recall how much you like the food. Yet as you scan down the first page of the menu, your breath quickens and your pulse shoots up. Turning to the second page, your eyes widen; you are practically hyperventilating...
Unimportant? Write it down!

Unimportant? Write it down!

“The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.”     -Ernest Diminet It is getting harder to focus in the information age. By “focus” we tend...
Unimportant? Write it down!

And what do you do?

At a dinner party recently, the question began to circulate. I could feel it coming my way, and had my usual habits at the ready–mumbling something about “a sort of executive coaching” or “productivity training”, suitably vague to move...
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Relax. No, Really.

“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.” -David Allen One of the hallmarks of true productivity is a sense of fulfilment. In a recent article, I looked at the difference between performance as in professional...
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A Brief History of Doing Versus Drama

We have all seen the automobile ads where their makers claim to be “redefining performance” in their industry. The truth is, we speakers of English have been redefining the very word “performance” for some time, and the trajectory is somewhat...
A Simple Exercise to Help Make GTD Stick

A Simple Exercise to Help Make GTD Stick

Do you understand the basics of the Getting Things Done, but are struggling to find the time to implement it well? Have you been using GTD off and on for a while, but have recently “fallen off the wagon”? Here is a quick, simple diagnostic exercise that...
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The Great GTD Safety Net

  You have a safety net. Whatever acrobatic manoeuvres will be required in the working week ahead, you can leap from platform to swinging trapeze with confidence. Someone down there is going to catch you if you fall. That someone, strangely enough, is you. As I...
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Top Tips to Avoid Meeting Burnout

  Have you ever stopped to think how much of your life you spend in meetings? Done well, they can be incredibly powerful, but very often they end up being inefficient and a drain. Having both attended countless meetings myself, and coached many senior executives...
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Why Tortoise Really Won

  “Baby Steps, get on a bus. Baby Steps, get on a bus.” -Bob Wiley (played by Bill Murray) in “What About Bob?” As a practicing poet, I often “trick myself” into creative flow. It is as if when I look at a subject directly, the...
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Scale Up and Delegate Out, with GTD

Scalability is the holy grail of good business practice–both for big companies looking to get bigger, and one-person bands just starting out. The Getting Things Done (GTD®) method is an extremely powerful approach to “scale” an individual’s...
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What Cowboys Know about Productivity

Growing up in the American Southwest, I have long been acquainted with a familiar parable about the young greenhorn (inexperienced rancher) attempting to brand cattle. What I never realised is how relevant the tale is to twenty-first-century knowledge work. The story...
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Do You Hear Voices?

  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris The Japanese personal organiser Marie Kondo recommends thinking of one’s possessions as animate, and treating them with according...
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Invincible Summer

What a lovely warm summer we have had here in the UK. Too bad it seems to be over in August. As crisper weather returns, I recognise winter on the horizon. The cold, bleary days make me want to hibernate, and the lack of sun can start to get me down. Yet thanks to my...
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RACIng Down The Pitch

Recently, I touched on how Areas of Focus can help you to keep areas that matter to you on track and in balance individually. This particular horizon of focus is also incredibly useful to teams. In the spirit of the current World Cup football matches, I’d like to...
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Keeping it All in Focus

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?” ― Rabbi Hillel Organisations have systems–from organograms to annual reviews–designed to ensure that the right people focus on the right...
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Sustaining Flow with GTD

Have you ever gotten lost in the enjoyment of a task? Chances are it was something you were able to do well, but that also challenged you on some level. This lovely feeling, of being both competent and stretched at the same time, is something I crave, and have sought...

Productivity and the Space-Time Continuum

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life, so that you may be fierce and original in your work.” -Gustave Flaubert As a poet and technologist, I admire elegance. One of the great allures of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology has been the degree to...