Nanci Hardwick Gets Things Done
Nanci Hardwick, CEO of Schultz-Creehan Holdings, Inc., shared her experience with Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen to Women in Leadership, a professional women's group in the New River Valley of Virginia.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nanci Hardwick Gets Things Done
Book by DavidAllen
Interpretation by Nanci Hardwick
Why I read this book
What this book says to do
What I did
How it worked
What I think about it now
For the Hereafter
The preacher told me the other day I should be thinking about the Hereafter.
I told him, "I do, Father, all the time.
Every time I go from one room to the other, I have to ask myself…
'Now, what am I here after?'
THINGS WE JUST “REMEMBER”
Can you go to the grocery
store without a list and not
Do you ever remember the
call that needs to be made in
the shower? Or at night in
NO MEMORY REQUIRED
Do you believe that you will
be in the right place at the
right time for your
appointments next week?
What’s the difference?? Why
is the calendar so much
better, so trusted?
Because it is ALL there. Every
detail. No memory required.
Most often, something you want to be different
than it is currently is on your mind because:
you haven’t clarified exactly what the intended
you haven’t decided what the very next physical
action step is, or
you haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the
action required in a system you trust.
The great cleanup and download
Time – Initial Renovation and maintenance
Space – Home and Office
A space you want to be in!
▪ “a giant stack” and a labeler
“The first activity is to search your physical
environment for anything that doesn’t belong
where it is, the way it is, permanently, and
put it in to your in basket.”
BEWARE: don’t slip into
purging/organizing/acting on items found as
these are potential time sinks.
NOW, sort through, to:
Trash what you don’t need
Complete any less than 2 minute actions
Hand off anything you can delegate
Add reminders into your system for greater than 2
Identify and add to your project list any larger
A “Projects” list
Project support material
“Next Actions” lists
A “Waiting For” list
A “Someday/Maybe” list
“The most common categories of action
Agendas (for people and meetings)
“You must be assured that you’re doing what
you need to be doing, and that it’s OK to be
not doing what you’re not doing.”
If your list of calls no longer includes all the
calls you need to make, your brain no longer
trusts the list and goes back to trying to
Choose actions based on these criteria:
A low energy moment would be the time to read,
update contact files, back up, etc.
Think of a looming project at work or home.
Now visualize or define a successful outcome
for that project.
What is the very next step that you would
need to take to make progress?
DavidAllen visits Nanci’s life
I “collected” the entire surface of my desk
And my projects drawer
▪ Other drawers, cabinets, and bookshelf are on standby
▪ But I cleaned out an entire drawer in my 4-drawer
cabinet at home!
I sorted and trashed and made lists
I felt the rush only those with a full trash can
I turned to my laptop, and faced my inbox…
June 16: Process and Purge over 1,200 emails
Except for the 250 I gave up on and moved to
Wow! – ZERO EMAIL IN INBOX!
Restructure my lists:
Task list categories were subject themes: Sales,
Human Resources,Volunteer, etc
Task list categories are now by action type: Calls,
@home, Projects,To Buy,Waiting on Others
Added personal tasks to Outlook
Used my inbox as an inbox rather than a staging area
Threw away the stuff I’ll never read (and felt ok about it)
Purged files and gave myself permission to delete email
Now follow the two minute rule – especially with new things to
read. I skim and chuck or flag what should be read with care
Empty my laptop bag every morning and evening
Keep a notepad and pen in my car
Unsubscribed from unwanted email rather than delete
We notice Nanci never mentioned adopting the filing system….
I am master of my to-do list. I sleep well. I
shower well. I leave the grocery store well.
Most of the time.
There is raw power in an empty in box and I
drink from the well every day.
8/24: Kate emails to say, can you still talk to
everyone about managing email?
I have 177 emails in my inbox, dating back to
Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
I say “Yes, Kate!” and spend a better part of
the day, the whole night, and the next
morning getting back to zero.
Girl vs. Email … and tasks, and projects, and life
Capturing it all
Making “next action” decisions
My task lists – using dates and priority flags
Reading while laptop boots up
How it went awry
Why it was worth getting back to zero
Action-oriented check lists are very helpful.
Defining next actions when I’m in that
moment really thinking about that project is
very helpful but harder than you would think.
Inboxes should contain unread email or be
Calendars can include “make decision about
X” items with relevant detail.
Reviewing is still tricky.
Knowing tasks are captured allows creative thinking