Ready for Anything - Part Two

This section of David Allen's book is called Focus Productively. It makes the argument that our ability to change how we see things is the key to productivity. Here are the segments in this part, and my notes.

14. For more clarity, look from a higher place.
"It's not what is going on in your world that's good or bad. The world just is what it is. What makes the difference is how you're engaged with it." You need to look at your situation in terms of where you are and where you want to be, taking yourself out of the day-to-day panic and looking at it from another perspective.

15. You won't see how to do it until you see yourself doing it.
Visualization allows you to figure out how to get where you want to go. You have to see the goal before you can go there.

16. Working hard enough is impossible.
You shouldn't be just keeping busy, or latching on to the easiest thing you can be doing to feel like you're working. Having your work collected allows you to figure out what you really need to be doing.

17. Energy follows thought.
We all have tricks to make ourselves more productive and focused. Part of this is thinking about things before they happen, and thinking about the circumstances that allow us to focus.

18. The clearer your purpose, the more ways to fulfill it.
Always ask yourself why you're doing something, or why something is set up the way it is. Often you'll find that it needs to be rethought, particularly if you're unclear about its purpose. Think about the purpose of your daily habits and routines. Look at your workspace and see if it's set up to achieve its purpose effectively.

19. Best is much better than good.
Focus on doing your best. Drop your self-doubt, desire for personal comfort, and habits, and think "what is the absolute best thing for me to be doing right now?"

20. A change in focus equals a change in result.
"How fast can you get back to 'ready'?" What do you do when you get a big surprise? How easily can you refocus and act? How are you viewing a situation or problem right now? Could you see it differently?

21. Perspective is the most valuable commodity on the planet.
Leverage times when you're inspired. Write ideas down when you think of them so that you can bring them back when you need them. Take advantage of challenges by learning to see them differently. Think about situations in which you find yourself inspired. How do you get there?

22. You have to think about your stuff more than you think.
One of the tenets of GTD. You need to make decisions about next actions. You need to write the next actions down, and you need to be able to find the next actions when you need them - in your trusted system.

23. You don't have to think about your stuff as much as you're afraid you might.
People avoid thinking because they're afraid that they will be overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do. They feel like not thinking about it helps them relax. But actually doing the thinking helps you be at peace. "You need to be complete with your incompletions." "I consistently come back to the awareness that I'm not my work, because I've objectified and reviewed it."

24. If you know what you're doing, efficiency is the only improvement opportunity.
This section talks about "Stress Transcendence." "When the fulfillment is present inside me and I'm okay with myself at the deepest level, it's not about getting everything done. It's just a process of doing -- and a very conscious process at that."

25. Only one thing on your mind is "in the zone."
Focus on the task at hand. Be true to your agreements with yourself.

26. The value of a future goal is the present change it fosters.
We set up a dichotomy between "just being" and doing. But it's a false distinction, because we are multidimensional. "You are active by the nature of your intention of where and how you focus your consciousness." To create a balance life, you should ask yourself "What type of doing most aligns me with my being?" so that you can align your goals with your values.