Fun Friday Links: The Secret to GTD, 4M Followers and How Working Less Increases Productivity

Filed Under Mindjet

Happy Link Time VDAY

February 15, 2013

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK!

Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

The Transformative Power of the To-Do List

Our minds have a tendency to fixate on unfinished tasks and forget the ones we’ve completed. Psychologists call this the Zeigarnik Effect, and it’s the reason many of us feel like we’re drowning in work regardless of how much we actually complete. Productivity Consultant David Allen’s approach solves this issue by listing out the components of each task in the order they must be completed. In this way, we can see what has to be done and how it has to be done, allowing us to free up congested brain space.

“Breaking each task down into its individual actions allows you to convert your work into things you can either physically do, or forget about, happy in the knowledge that it is in the system,” writes Tom Stafford.


“The mere act of planning how to finish something satisfies the itch that keeps uncompleted tasks in our memory.”

(Side note: It doesn’t always have to be about work. Done Not Done is  very cool to-do app for the things you want to do, not the things you have to do.)

Four Million Followers

From the author: “Here is a short story I wrote about Twitter and social media and Internet identity. It belongs nowhere else but on the Internet, so on the Internet it will go. Please enjoy.”

A quick snippet:

“…the very reason he’d been employed was to avoid the kind of contextual lapses that software was so often prone to making. Twitter had created a system that demanded the attention of intelligent people, individuals capable of assuming the entire false persona of a global brand without lapses, but there was no reward for that attention.”

Relax! You’ll be More Productive

Would you believe that more time off leads to a higher rate of productivity? Because Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project and author, most recently, of Be Excellent at Anything, makes a convincing case for just that. The recent research he points to in this article proves that strategic renewal (afternoon naps, more vacations, longer sleep hours, and more workouts) boosts productivity and job performance.

At the end of the day it’s all about physiology. Turns out we weren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Just like our sleep patters, which range from light to deep sleep and back again in 90 minute cycles, our waking hours are better lived when spent using and recovering energy.

“[The] basic idea is that the energy employees bring to their jobs is far more important in terms of the value of their work than is the number of hours they work,” writes Schwartz. “By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably. When we’re renewing, we’re truly renewing, so when we’re working, we can really work.”