5 Steps to Approach Anything

1 09 2008

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Image by Rickydavid on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Rickydavid on Flickr via Creative Commons

“If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.” Robert Collier

Whilst on holiday a while back I wrote quite a number of posts that either have or are yet to appear here on Lifestyle Project. What I noticed as I wrote a post or two per day for the week of my holiday was that there are clear regular themes in my thinking which define how to approach actually getting things done.

I suppose my way of thinking is ultimately a culmination of my reading on GTD, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Four Hour Work week (By the way that is the order I read them in and I would recommend that your read them the opposite way round!).

This is a quick post that I plan to expand on with a series of posts in the future.

How to Approach Anything

When you come across a task, project or challenge, no matter how big or small you can follow this 5 step process and apply it to any situation. I believe that the process is scaleable to projects of any size. For example a really small task you will spend seconds on the first three steps, whereas for a major Project it could be several days.

  1. Objectives
    1. Capture your objectives.
    2. Begin with the End in mind.
    3. What quality standard does this need to be done to really? Don’t seek perfection where it is not needed.
  2. Write it Down
    1. Make your self accountable.
    2. Write down your Objectives.
    3. Plan (mind maps are good for this).
  3. Review, Simplify, Eliminate
    1. Will your plan achieve your objectives?
    2. Have you made this as easy as possible?
    3. Remove steps not needed to achieve the objectives.
    4. Do you need to do all of your actions and meeting all of your objectives?
    5. Will it help in the grand scheme of things? What’s the bigger picture?
  4. Take Action, Just Do It
    1. Don’t procrastinate. Just Do It!
    2. Don’t complicate once you start doing it.
  5. Review, Close, Move On
    1. Have you met your objectives (step one)
    2. Is it good enough? Everything doesn’t have to be perfect; does it meet your Objectives?

If you follow this process I believe that you will have good results in anything you approach. This could be work projects, personal tasks or even when looking at your goals!

Why not try it today and let me know how you get on in the comments below. Just write each of the 5 steps as headings on a piece of paper and get going.

Have a Productive Day!


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2 responses

2 09 2008

It looks like you and I have followed the same track in improvement. I recently switched from two decades of Day Timer and Covey to GTD earlier this year. What has really helped me use GTD effectively was finding an electronic application that allows me to view my entire GTD at work on my Win machine, at home on my Macs and even on my cell phone. And another app lets me call in tasks to my GTD without any writing or typing, great for those thoughts that hit me while driving. I’ve written about my experiences with GTD in a blog post at http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/more-getting-things-done/ John

2 09 2008

@jbkendrick – Sounds good. I’ve tried loads of applications. The problem is I spend more time playing with the latest Web 2.0 apps that actually getting things done! I’m using Zenbe on my iphone for personal lists and then at work I’ve just switched back to paper. Keeping it simple. Will write a post about my GTD tools soon.



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