Radar system ::: Calendarization ::: Conceptual resource digestion ::: Concepts to daily action
The secret office
Why do you need a radar system? The world moves on—in non-linear and unpredictable ways. Maybe you want a genuinely interesting life. There are other reasons …
Your radar system is your value system in action. To have a conscious radar system — one you've thought about and tested against how the world works in multiple time dimensions — is a big step forward. Part of your radar should include some conceptual resources that you revisit regularly to refresh (attention–directing and what needs doing) your immediate action system:
You're going to have to design your own radar system. Think erector set. Mind mapping software may help you think structurally about your needs and tools.
Note taking with Scrivener
Concepts to daily action
The first step is getting the right stuff on your radar:
See "thoughts on interesting topics you encounter during a day" below
Links and the bottom of this page and the links within those pages
Mike Kami's Razor Blade Reading and Clue Management in Trigger Points
See Drucker thinking for topics that turn up. Remember Drucker's advice on the unexpected: success, failure and event.
What should you harvest from "Steve Jobs: One Last Thing?" Broadcast on PBS.
Thoughts on interesting topics you encounter during a day
As you're going through your day, it is a good idea to make note of any moderately interesting topic and where you discovered it.
Later you can review these and archive those that don't seem valuable.
The purpose of these notes is to help you look out the window.
They are attention-directing tools.
So pay attention to what catches your attention—it may mean something later on.
Beware of the futility of politics, predictions of the future, and things that look like they are going to be big.
“The new always looks so small, so puny, so unpromising next to the size and performance of maturity.
Anything truly new that looks big is indeed to be distrusted.
The odds are heavily against its succeeding.
And yet successful innovators, as was argued earlier, start small and, above all, simple.”
— Chapter 13, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Identifying the Future (The Daily Drucker)
Futurists always measure their batting average by counting how many things they have predicted that have come true.
They never count how many important things come true that they did not predict.
Everything a forecaster predicts may come to pass.
Yet, he may not have seen the most meaningful of the emergent realities or, worse still, may not have paid attention to them.
There is no way to avoid this irrelevancy in forecasting, for the important and distinctive are always the result of changes in values, perception, and goals, that is, in things that one can divine but not forecast.
But the most important work of the executive is to identify the changes that have already happened.
The important challenge in society, economics, politics, is to exploit the changes that have already occurred and to use them as opportunities.
The important thing is to identify the "future that has already happened"—and to develop a methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes.
A good deal of this methodology is incorporated in my 1985 book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which shows how one systematically looks to the changes in society, in demographics, in meaning, in science and technology, as opportunities to make the future.
The notes that survive your initial pruning process can be organized in a number of ways.
Filing them by review sessions will keep them on your radar.
David Allen suggests a weekly review (overview of his system).
See JUN 2 "A Successful Information-Based Organization" and "30 AUG — Finding Opportunity in Surprises" in The Daily Drucker for a monthly review process.
See NOV 15 in The Daily Drucker — The Management Letter for a semi-annual review.
See Drucker's Annual Review in My Life as a Knowledge Worker.
Also reviews are needed for: people decisions; expected results from assignments, contributions, key activities and projects; effective decisions.
You are going to have to design your own attention-directing system as you go through your life—nobody else can do it for you.
The overriding question is "What needs doing" (See The Effective Executive)
The answer to the question "What needs to be done?" almost always contains more than one urgent task.
But effective executives do not splinter themselves.
They concentrate on one task if at all possible.
If they are among those people—a sizable minority—who work best with a change of pace in their working day, they pick two tasks.
I have never encountered an executive who remains effective while tackling more than two tasks at a time.
Hence, after asking what needs to be done, the effective executive sets priorities and sticks to them.
… snip, snip …
Other tasks, no matter how important or appealing, are postponed.
However, after completing the original top-priority task, the executive resets priorities rather than moving on to number two from the original list.
He asks, "What must be done now?"
This generally results in new and different priorities.
When you're reading something of substance its a good idea to think about what you need to calendarize.
Areas of content
Major life radar blip: What do you want to be remembered for?
What are the opportunities time and history have (will) put within your grasp? — Peter Drucker