Productivity Ninjas at work – Think Productive UK founder, Graham Allcott

8/1/2013 |


We’re big fans of Lifehacker here at Think Productive UK, especially their “How I Work” series

So, we thought we’d do our own version – starting with Think Productive UK founder (and productivity experimenter), Graham Allcott

What would your answers be? No idea? Need some help?

 

 

Graham Allcott is the owner / director of Think Productive UK, a UK productivity training company

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT HARDWARE DO YOU USE?

I have 3 main machines:

A 15″ HP laptop that is my main machine.  It’s super-quick.

I travel a lot, so I have a tiny Samsung netbook.  It’s about 3 years old and is only really used for emails, word docs and projecting Powerpoint slides when I’m delivering workshops and talks.

Then, I have an iPad which I use primarily for quick-email use, web surfing and reading.

My phone is an iPhone 4S, with a Mophie Juice Pack to make the battery life bearable.

 

WHAT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE?

I’m a big fan of Outlook and the Microsoft Office suite.  I know that’s uncool these days, but they just work better than the Google equivalents in my view.  And because the vast majority of our clients are PC users, moving completely to the Apple world isn’t an easy option, really.

Other stuff I use:

iPadio for recording phone audio

Audacity for editing audio

> Evernote for my ‘digital filing cabinet’,

Dropbox and SugarSync for file-sharing.

 

WHAT MOBILE APPS AND TO-DO APPS DO YOU LOVE?

Toodledo is my to-do app.  I use that mainly on the iPad.

On my iPhone, I love TuneIn Radio (especially for when I’m out running!) and Headspace, a meditation app is another favourite.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTIVITY BOOK?

Well, apart from “How to be a Productivity Ninja” (!), I’d probably say Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” (Amazon) just beats David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (Amazon).

 

HOW DO YOU ARRANGE YOUR DESK?

At home, I have 2 screens, so that’s where I tend to do stuff like writing, video-editing, and other ‘creating’.

I use an in-tray and my bottom drawer is where I keep my “current” reference materials (the paperwork for projects I’m still working on).

I have 3 clear plastic files in my bag so that my bag is both the ‘go-between’ between my two offices as well as being as close to a virtual office wherever I am.  These are called “To Office” “To Home” and “Office On The Move” – the final one contains stamps, envelopes, thank you cards, a smaller plastic file to chuck receipts into, Think Productive UK’s marketing materials and so on.

Under both my desks is an external hard drive, USB Hub, laptop chargers and phone chargers, so that I don’t have to constantly think about things like cables, back-ups and remembering the right kit.

 

DO YOU USE ANY PRODUCTIVITY OR TIME-SAVING TRICKS IN YOUR HOME LIFE?

To eliminate time wasted thinking about such things, I have only black socks and I buy 3 pairs of the same trousers online when I need new ones.

I also ‘outsource‘ cleaning and ironing, which I never grow tired of appreciating.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTIVITY TRICK OR TECHNIQUE?

Managing attention, not time.

I have 3 main office categories on my Master Actions List: Home-Office (proactive attention), Office (active attention), Office (inactive attention).  This allows me to categorise everything I do by difficulty and energy-level, which has been really powerful.

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST PRODUCTIVITY STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS?

Strength?  I think my curiosity is what keeps me constantly evolving the way I work and coming up with new ideas.

Weakness?  Being my own boss, I often give myself permission to avoid or leave until last the things that involve a lot of detail.  I hate detail.  On the positive side, I’m also good at hiring people who love detail!

 

AWAY FROM WORK, WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST?

It used to be watching Aston Villa.  But that’s not much fun for anyone at the moment.  Generally, I’m pretty all-or-nothing: you’ll either find me tearing around on trains and planes for either business or pleasure, or I’m curled up on the sofa with my iPad.  I’m either on a mission or I’m a hermit – there’s little in between!

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTIVITY QUOTE?

The one that constantly motivates me is from an interview with the artists, Gilbert and George.  Gilbert said “Any picture we don’t make will not be made by somebody else“.  I think we waste so much time in states of distraction, when we all have so much more inside us to give.

 

Like this? Try these

Sign up for one of our Time Management Courses workshops – in your office or in a city near you

 Lifehacker – How I Work Series

Got a cluttered desk? Don’t feel too bad

 

 

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