Getting Unstuck, Part 4 - Personal Management

I am reading Matt Perman’s How to Get Unstuck and taking on the writing exercise at the end of each chapter. More information in this article on the introduction.

This part of the book was interesting to read but more familiar to me as I am already familiar with and have implemented much of what Perman discussed. It served as a good reminder because the last few months have been a time where I have not practiced personal management as much as I would like. It also inspired me to introduce two new processes into my workflow.

Chapter 11 was about the importance of starting with time, not tasks. It was practically aimed at making sure you realistically understand how much you can do, compare that to what you’re actually doing, and go forward using your time more proactively and productively.

Chapter 12 discussed setting priorities and ensuring that you consistently focus on priorities over time as they change. Perman introduced a concept that was new to me called the Time Leverage Chart. It is a simple table with a row for each responsibility area, a top goal, statement describing success, % of time / # of hours to reach goal, and activities required to succeed. This is something I would like to create in the future. Currently at work I am spending a majority of my time already on a single project; I would like to create this chart once the project winds down.

Chapters 13 and 14 were about the concept of Deep Work, with much of the source material from the book of that name by Cal Newport. This is a book I read a few years ago, and which was very influential on me. Deep work, and the flow state, is something I try to acheive regularly.

The final chapter in this section of the book was about renewal. Perman describes four areas where renewal is necessary in order to maintain capacity for getting and staying unstuck: 1) Physical 2) Mental 3) Social/Emotional 4) Spiritual

He focuses on the fourth one as much has been written in the leadership book space on the first three. I have personally read and thought much about spiritual renewal as well, including several books he referenced.

Overall, reading this part of the book was enjoyable and a good reminder of things I want to be more focused on. While it was less new material for me, I may be more likely to share this book first with someone with whom I’m trying to share some of this material as he does a good job of summarizing concepts presented elsewhere in 100s of pages.