An organisational system (or metasystem), “Getting Things Done” (GTD) focuses on contextual “next actions” from a list of active projects. It was created by David Allen. Allen suggests grouping tasks into projects, assigning context (e.g. @home, @work, @out) and breaking tasks down into individual, actionable tasks called “next actions”. The idea is to determine tasks on a “just in time” basis, then act on them. I use Todoist as a GTD-supporting tool.


Kaizen (改善) is Japanese for “improvement”, and (in a business context specifically) refers to the act of continuously improving different aspects of a business: processes, methodologies and activities. Here I’m going to attempt to record some of my own practise and success of kaizen, including things taken from Righting the Wrongs:   From Righting the Wrongs: time – I don’t have enough “me time”. Work smarter  Accept that some stuff just ain’t gonna get done  I’ve made a conscious effort to embrace these ideas in the last year or so, and to give myself a little more breathing space at work. We took holidays for the first time in a long time at the end of 2016, and it felt […]

Learning hacks

There are a number of hacks that can make learning easier or more effective. Active Reading   Elaborative Interrogation & Self Explanation The ‘Feynman technique’ for actively digesting, understanding and remembering a topic of interest involves reading/researching, then explaining (as if to someone else) the key points of what you’re trying to learn. This highlights gaps in your supposed knowledge, and probably also tricks the brain into assigning a higher importance to it, thus enabling better recall. (Reading is easy. Try reading a chapter and then summarising it in this way!) There is a huge difference between “play” and “practice”, although it seems to me that both are necessary and that deliberate practice can only be sustained if it becomes […]

Life, The Universe and Everything

“What I need… is a strong drink and a peer group.” ― Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything There’s a good chance we only get one shot at this: a “brief flight through a brightly lit room†” and all that. (Of course, maybe we are stuck in cyclic re-existence, but how can we know?) Anyway, the point is I (seem to††) get everything I want so long as it improves the sum-total “good” in the superconscious multiverse — but the first step is knowing what I actually want! Ask yourself, as I do: What Future Do You Want, young padawan? Remember to make great art Consider the five lists and all your personal resources. If you’re feeling particularly positive & powerful, check out righting the […]

Make great art

In 2012, Neil Gaiman gave a speech to the graduating class of art students at the University of Philadelphia. It’s a pretty inspiring piece, with a lot of great advice and big ideas. I’m putting down some notes as a personal reminder: Getting started When you get started, you know nothing. This is good. If you don’t know what is “impossible”, it’s harder to fail/easier to do the impossible. (Or even thirteen impossible things?) Make your end-state desire a distant mountain. Every time you need to decide between two paths, or just pick the next thing to do, make sure it is a step towards the mountain. Make your own art. You may start by sounding like a lot of different […]


Listening to something from Ramit Sethi ( about productivity, and decided to take notes. Ramit’s approach breaks down to: Test assumptions Don’t assume that this or that “productivity framework” (GTD, Pomodoro, etc) will actually work for you. Try it, but take notes and determine metrics. Different people have different behaviour models, so one size does not fit all. SCIENCE! Be brutally honest with yourself … which really means being self-aware. Not a morning person? Don’t tell yourself you “should” be one. Again, testing. Have clear outcomes You can’t measure unless you know what you’re working towards. There are only so many hours in the day. If you don’t determine your own outcomes, you waste cycles. Unsorted “lifehacks” from Ramit’s readers […]

Secret Habits of Success

Ramit’s secret scents of success include: “Magical” ability How they REALLY do it Memorises names effortlessly Ongoing data entry into a CRM Tracks stories after they meet someone, reviews it before meeting them next time Has killer body When eating out, checks the menu beforehand, plugs the dish into MFP, adjust diet that day to make sure they can fit the calories/macros into their diet Working out is a regular habit, not a daily battle Easily manages one or more successful side gigs As for “work” I get up an hour early to work on my side gig, then go to work at my office job, then come home and work on my side gig. I have calendar reminders and […]

Start Here

Sure, why not: we have to start somewhere, don’t we? These pages, and this ‘blog, act as a sort of “commonplace book”, with notes and thoughts from a variety of subjects.  It’s a form of intelligence amplification modelled on my own neural network. They include a whole bunch of different, interrelated information that could be interesting — to me, at least — and exploring and editing may help me discover new connections and relationships I wouldn’t find on my own. Among other things, this contains research on diverse topics that I’m interested in (i.e. “reference” in GTD), thoughts on life, the universe and everything, as well as things I’d like to try. (My current personal development project, and perhaps an interesting read, is “How to become a Superman”.) […]

Things I’d like to try

In GTD, there is a category of tasks and projects that you’re not even sure you’d like to progress — thoughts you can’t let go, but haven’t dedicated the time to actually unpacking or contemplating any further than “what if …?”. We call this “Someday, Maybe”. Here I’m being a bit more committed than that, and just gathering a list of things I’d like to try: Building our dream home Having some fun hobbies Travelling the world Living in an awesome Paris apartment Opening a bar a microbrewery/boutique beer bar Hopped / Hop’d Ferment / Ferment’d Brew (coffee too) / Brewd / Brew’d The Local Drugstore Flying as a first-class passenger as the pilot Writing a novel (nanowrimo) Recording a YouTube channel […]

Thirteen impossible things

Run a marathon (43km!) Sydney Half in 2017 Sydney Marathon in 2014 2016 2018 Be a polyglot Languages Read and speak French (with some level of fluency) 2018 Write Quenya (for kicks) 2018 Arabic learn the Arabic alphabet/script (Memrise) some basic words and phrases (memorise) Sanskrit Write Devanagari 2018 Some basic words and phrases 2018 Read and speak basic Italian Read and speak basic Deutsch Read and speak basic Russian Read and speak some Mandarin Chinese (Pǔtōnghuà) Practise and techniques (site + mobile app) Anki (flashcards) DuoLingo (app) French listening CDs When running? “Fluent In Three Months” (book) Daily practise — but when?  Lunch time, maybe Run an Ironman $682 registration fee (+$150 for travel to volunteer — to […]