Flow

Just-In-Time PM #19: Explosive Inspiration

In Part 18, I introduced the idea that our states of mind come and go in “motivational waves,” and that we should try to surf them instead of forcing them to conform to our will. Now let’s go deeper into what these motivational states entail, and how we can use them to our advantage. A

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Just-In-Time PM #18: Motivational Waves

In Part 17, I argued that unique states of mind are the most powerful resource available to knowledge workers. But these states are difficult to reproduce on demand, and come and go unpredictably. Our challenge becomes clear: how do we capture the value from a series of valuable, yet fleeting mental states? Let’s take the

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Just-In-Time PM #17: States of Mind

In Part 16, we refined our understanding of Return on Attention by taking into account our biggest constraint as knowledge workers – not just our attention but our deeply focused attention in particular. But human attention is not a simple commodity like oil or gold. It can’t be stored in barrels or vaults or measured

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Just-In-Time PM #16: Effective ROA

In Part 15, I advocated for multithreading, or weaving together multiple projects to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and synergies. To take advantage of the benefits of multithreading, it’s critical that you begin to think of yourself not as a lone project manager, but as a project portfolio manager (PPM). Traditionally found only in large

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Just-In-Time PM #15: Multithreading

In Part 14, we looked at the potential for massively increasing our bandwidth by creating “personal productivity networks.” These networks are made up of packets of work that move between “nodes” where some kind of intelligence is applied, whether human or software-based. But what does it look like to operate such a network in our

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Just-In-Time PM #14: Personal Productivity Networks

In Part 13, we looked at the benefits of Component Thinking, which involves thinking of any product we are working on as made up of subcomponents, which can be evolved or swapped out over time. Now I’d like to take a step back and consider the big picture of what it means to work in

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Just-In-Time PM #13: Component Thinking

In Part 12, I described the shift from a just-in-case to a just-in-time philosophy of work, using late starts as an example of the benefits it offers. But if nearly everything can be done later, and there are major benefits to doing so, one question comes to the forefront: what in the world should I

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Just-In-Time PM #12: Just-In-Case to Just-In-Time

In Part XI, I introduced the concept of a “critical path” of tasks in a project, and the rationale for pushing tasks as late as possible on the timeline. The late starts approach inspires a tremendous amount of resistance, especially from creative knowledge workers. It sounds an awful lot like taking control from individual employees,

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Just-In-Time PM #11: Late Starts on the Critical Path

In Part X, I argued that digital knowledge work was fundamentally different than other kinds of work, because its structure, features, and purpose could be added or changed after it was built. Principle #4 of Digital Knowledge Work is therefore to “Start everything as late as possible.” This practice is known as “late starts,” and

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