Omnifocus, Focus, and Productivity in Academia - Pass it on.
As a relatively new, green, academic, I've consistently searched for one thing in particular: How other academics sustain success, efficiencey, and productivity. In the 21st century, it is critical for one to #keeplearning. But for the purposes of passing on content to the next generation, it is also important to understand new trends and developments in knowledge, technology, and information in my generation (thanks Ralph Waldo Emerson). That being said, I try to incorportate these things in my workflows at home, work, and elsewhere. Regarding academia, I try to figure out how other academics have successfully managed to 'manage information, disseminate information (teach), and maintain consistencey in their personal lives. This guy is a great example!
I've consistently researched this for 2 primary reasons:
1. They don't teach you how to teach in academia - though they require you to do it well at smaller universities. (sigh..)
2. They don't tell you how to be successful. They just tell you what you need to do in order to get tenure and equate that to lifelong success (which by my definition, isn't success).
My journey isn't complete, but I've found something that seems to be consistent across the blogs and production from several professors/researcher/physicians
Each of them DO - and recommed - the follwing:
1. Understanding how the brain processes information, and aligning those cognative processes with external decisions and actions: The book GTD by David Allen really covers this process from a decision-making standpoint.
2. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. If one wants to create and drive the world forward, one has to be able to focus. Dr. Cal Newport makes this clear on his blog and in his recently published book. Taking his approach to deep work is how I was finally able to finish my first e-book!
3. Assess, evaluate, and track of your personal and professional responsibilities! As one grows, one gets more responsibilities Dr. Jeffry Takeman, MD, alongside two of my favorite podcasters, David Sparks and Katie Floyd, have tried and tested project management software that allows us to do things with our devices that are just...beautiful. Evernote, combined with Workflows with Omnifocus is perhaps one the most critical additions to my academic workflow. At one point in time, a PC was person (just watch this movie and see for yourself). Fortunately, we've just about elminiated the need for individuals to be 'computers' of information. Hello Google.
Oh, and one more supremely important concept:
Pastor and Teacher John Piper at DesiringGod and Michael Hyatt, over at michaelhyatt.com, infuse a biblical-based approach in their spiritual foundations. Ditto. I found that when I added Sunday School Teaching to my responsibilities, productivity really started to take on a new meaning. Then, I found myself adding another process management task to to my overall workflow, popularized by Dr. Atul Gawande.
In the near future, I plan to write more about these things, as I find myself spend much time thinking about how to organize informaiton. I wanted to jumstart the process for other your professionals who may need guidance on this conecept.
I only imagine that the amount of information is going to exponentially increase over the next 10 years of my young career. Oh boy.