Patterns and Practices for Improving Personal Productivity, Time Management, and Effectiveness

I’ve been coaching individuals, teams, and leaders on getting results.  Basically, for several years I’ve tested and applied various patterns and practices for improving focus, improving motivation, improving time management, and improving personal productivity.  I’ve also applied these practices to distributed team settings for several years (I’ve lead distributed teams since 2001, working with Argentina, UK, India, etc.).  The system itself is a combination and synthesis of proven practices learned from project management, software management, positive psychology, and sports psychology.  It’s also battle tested in some of the most extreme scenarios.  It’s ultimately a simple system for meaningful results that scales up and down, from individuals to teams and leaders.

At the heat of the system is a story-driven approach or a “3x3” approach:

By using three stories to drive your day, your week, your month, and your year … you identify your most important results, you connect to your values, and you flow value on a regular basis.

I’ve wrapped up and shared this getting results system as a guide.  The book is called Getting Results the Agile Way and you can read the testimonials which includes people inside and outside of Microsoft (it’s generalized to work beyond the Microsoft context.)  It’s one of my most important contributions back to the community … distilling all the of the best of the best of what I’ve learned about getting results from my various mentors, my multiple projects over many years, and from the school of hard knocks.  It’s the playbook I wish somebody gave me when I started.

For this month, I’ve been doing a Monthly Improvement Sprint to help teach you the system and to learn how to improve personal productivity, improve energy, and improve time management.  Basically, I want you to get the system on your side.  Monthly Improvement Sprints are one of the core practices from the system, so I’m effectively, using the system to  teach the system.  Each day, I share another nugget in the form of a post on my personal effectiveness blog.  Each nugget is self-contained so you can pick up from anywhere. 

Here is a description of the project:

Here are the daily lessons so far on improving personal productivity, time management, focus, and prioritization:

Join anytime and pick up from wherever you are.  The most important theme is this:

Be the author of your life and write your story forward … a day at a time, and a moment at a time.

Comments (1)

  1. Colin Bowern says:

    Great summary of the project – I have shared it with the folks in the Agile People Manifesto group (

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