Normally my posts here at PE have some semblance of order (or maybe that’s my own illusion). Whatever the reality on that, this post is a bit of mind dump. I just wanted to provide some updates.


I enjoy getting questions by email, and I’ve gotten some great ones lately. If you prefer email over comments to get in touch with me, by all means email away using the Contact page. I may even feature your question in a future post with your permission.

Sometimes I’m not able to respond right away, but I always respond.


I read a lot of information each day on the interwebs. There are often articles I’d love to quote and comment on here, but I just can’t get to all of them.

If you follow PE, you may find these interesting:

  • In the “Cult of less: Living out of a hard drive,” BBC writer Matthew Danzico describes a trend where 20-somethings are reducing their physical possessions to only laptops, phones, and iPads. There are parts of this piece that will definitely disturb those of us with roots firmly anchored in the pre-digital world, but this trend is not at all surprising. More and more of our lives are shifting from physical to virtual. Who knows, maybe we’re seeing some kind of digital lost generation emerge that will be fodder for a great 21st-century novel. I did some thinking out loud on the future of object and media ownership earlier.
  • Scott Scheper tells us the “The To Do List Secret Everybody Ought to Know.” It’s so easy to get stuck in a “reactive” rut where most of your day involves doing mundane tasks. Scott recommends creating to-do lists that contain more proactive tasks than reactive tasks. Specifically, 80% proactive and 20% reactive. Great advice.
  • James Shelley recently discussed his simple, elegant system for processing email. I really like James’s method because it shows that a sophisticated email strategy need not involve a multitude of steps and dimensions. Yes, I did mean to say sophisticated. It takes effort and a higher level of focus to reduce chaos to digestible order. By the way, you can find a summary of my own email strategy in my post “How I conquered the email newsletter in my GTD system.”

What’s coming

Next week, I’m publishing a 5-part, week-long series on setting better hurdles. I’m going to talk about common pitfalls in task setting and discuss methods I’ve developed to make better tasks and get the most out of my time. It’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds.