ProdPod: Episode Four – Charlie Gilkey’s Special Theory of Productivity, Part Two

In our fourth episode, Ray gives us an overview of Charlie Gilkey’s second part of the Special Theory of Productivity–the Principles.

Welcome to our fourth episode of ProdPod, the podcast of productivity tips in two minutes or less. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and I’m your productivity guide, the current organizer of getting things done dc meetup & the founding organizer of the newly established Getting Things Done NYC Meetup. You can find me tweeting on twitter at g t d d c and at g t d n y c using the hashtag, #prodpod.

This episode’s tip: the special theory of productivity, part two. In the last episode, I presented the principles of time management systems, which are gauges to rank independently each of the three functions (planning, execution and evaluation). The principles are simplicity, usefulness, aesthetically-pleasing, connectedness and cohesiveness. Simplicity  refers to its intuitiveness when using your system. Usefulness, Charlie Gilkey maintains, should make sure information is both actionable and usable; no reason to get information you won’t ever use or care about, right? Aesthetically-pleasing is the principle of the obvious, since people like to use things that they’re attracted to not turned off by. Connectedness, I believe, is Gilkey’s pithy way of saying that he wants a productivity system to be a relational database (in tech terms). If you don’t know what a relational database is, it’s worth checking it out on Wikipedia. The final principle of cohesiveness is really just an ability of any good relational database, and charlie gives the example of marking a next-action completed and it updates throughout your system.

While David Allen’s GTD enlightens us to the simple yet effective questions on the runway of life: “what is it? And, is it actionable?,” the higher-level nugget that comes out of the special theory of productivity is the genius in its simplicity question: does your productivity system enable you to plan, execute and evaluate?

I hope you enjoyed this episode of prodpod. This is ray sidney-smith and thanks for listening! Here’s to your productivity success…in two minutes or less.