Productivity Countdown

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
eProductivity Countdown ClockI usually do OK tracking individual actions and small and medium sized projects. These are items for which I can easily envision the completed state - I know what "done" will look like and I know I will mark these complete in a few days or weeks. Sometimes, however, I have projects where the completion date is not days or weeks ahead but months or years ahead. I find those harder to keep in front of me. Even with regular review, I sometimes find it hard to keep a sense of time about a project that is off in the distant future.

As I prepare to launch eProductivity, a GTD implementation tool for Lotus Notes, I need to keep one or two key milestones in sight at all times. Specifically, we have a few big milestones - things like "launch web site" or "Prepare for meeting with David" or "Deliver presentation to IBM" that we have been working on for many months or in the case of the product launch, several years.

Several months ago, I watched a NASA Shuttle mission video and I was inspired by their countdown clock and their mission elapsed clock. I decided that I needed my own countdown clock, so I decided to create one for myself.

eProductivity Countdown Clocks for my team - notice dancing Ian?Starting with a countdown clock mechanism that I purchased on-line, I created a custom clock face and built five eProductivity countdown clocks. I set each one to the date of a key milestone. I kept one clock for myself and I sent the other four to key people on my team. Now, I have a tangible reminder of the event and the time remaining to complete. I've had the clock on my desk for a few months now and it's been a fun reminder of an event that I am looking forward to. The key question "What's your next action?" keeps me focused on the little things that I need to accomplish to achieve my goal.

It's been a fun way to get things done.

Discussion/Comments (6):

Productivity Countdown

So, is it June23 for the big event then? :)

Posted at 05/26/2008 10:11:22 by Michael

re: Productivity Countdown

One of them. ;-) I'll blog soon, After this week's big [internal] event.

Posted at 05/26/2008 10:12:37 by Eric Mack

Productivity Countdown

Sorry, I misread the filename - but if you took the foto on March the 20th and only had 34 days to go, it looks as if the release date has slipped a bit...?

Or...did you intentionally change the filename to confuse us?

Posted at 05/26/2008 10:17:49 by Michael

re: Productivity Countdown

Michael, originally, I was going to sit the camera in front of my webcam so people could see a real countdown, however, life got busy and a new opportunity required us to renegotiate milestones. So, the photo you see is close but incorrect. I wanted this blog post to be more of a story of the idea of the countdown clock than anything about a specific milestone. But since you are curious, my clock currently reads: 1 Day 22 hours and 23 minutes which is the date/time of our next major milestone. (It's an internal one.) Then, I will reset the clock for the public milestone.

Posted at 05/26/2008 10:21:01 by Eric Mack

Productivity Countdown

Thank you, Eric. Inquiring minds just want to know, so I had to investigate. Web-cam would have been a nice idea, though ;)

Good luck for your nxt milestone! No, I have to rephrase that, since we are not talking about specific milestones here (and since we shouldn't rely on 'luck'): blessings on all milestones measured by those clocks! And on those using the clocks! :)


Posted at 05/26/2008 10:51:12 by Michael

re: Productivity Countdown

Thanks for the blessing, Michael, and well wishes. Exciting times ahead. Eric

Posted at 05/29/2008 17:36:44 by Eric Mack

Discussion for this entry is now closed.