Michael MacDonald

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Reasons, Not Excuses

In Personal on December 31, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Earlier this year a friend was considering going to Japan for a conference but he was saying things like “but I couldn’t” and “I can’t afford it”. He was talking himself out of it. I simply said, “focus on reasons not excuses”. Read the rest of this entry »


Pomodoro FTW!

In Business on December 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

Do you pomodoro? It seems to be all the rage. It’s simple but effective, and I highly recommend it.

The Pomodoro Technique is about focus and maintaining that focus. In a sentence, it is about focusing on a single task for 25 minutes straight, no interruptions. Can you do it? For a lot of people, it is pretty hard. Email, twitter, facebook, SMS, and IM all compete for your attention and distract you from your work. People also like to procrastinate. When faced with a difficult task, you’d much rather do something easy and fun. It is common to leave essays and reports to the last minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Leave It In My In-Tray

In Business on December 1, 2009 at 8:16 am

When I first started working in “the enterprise” one of the first things I learnt was how to prioritise. I called it my in-tray method. It worked well but it isn’t something I advocate. In fact, if you find yourself using this method then it’s time to find another job!

The in-tray method worked like this: whenever someone came to give me new work I’d ask them to leave it in my in-tray. Then I would completely ignore it. I would only deal with it if they came back for it. Most of the time they didn’t. Using this technique I could easily figure out what were the real priorities and simply forget the rest.

Read the rest of this entry »