Charlie Gilkey on Start Finishing, Part 8

In his book, Start Finishing: How to go from idea to done, Charlie Gilkey discusses how we can follow a nine-step method to convert an idea into a project and get the project done via a reality-based schedule.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 8, Weave Your Project into Your Schedule

In this chapter, Charlie discusses the techniques to integrate our environments with the daily requirements demanded by our best work. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:

  • Make sure our environment is working for us. Pay attention to these seven environmental factors and determine how they might affect us:
    • Sound
    • Smell
    • Sunlight
    • Clothing
    • Clutter/Organization
    • Amount of space
    • Music.
  • Batching and stacking are two techniques that can improve our efficiency.
    • Batching work is the process of doing similar kinds of work in a contiguous period.
    • Stacking work is the process of doing different but compatible kinds of work at the same time.
  • Keep the dread-to-work ratio down by dealing with the “Frogs.” Frogs are the tasks and chunks of projects that we do not want to do. However, we should consider addressing them early and often as necessary.
  • Focus more on the “when” rather than the “what.” Decide upfront when it is best to do particular work and stick to the schedule/plan.
  • First in priority doesn’t always mean first in the sequence. The key idea is to get to those high-priority tasks at the right time to complete the tasks in the most effective manner possible.
  • Use the 5/10/15 split to build daily momentum. We use our five projects to create and update our daily plan for ten minutes before we start and fifteen minutes at the end of our day.
  • Do not plan too far in advance. Doing so can create frustration and resignation because the further out we plan, the less likely our plan will be correct or practical.