Another post on productivity?

Do we really need another post on productivity and time management? How is this one going to be different than all of the others? My day doesn’t lend itself to blocking out chunks, I’m not my own boss, I add more to my to-do list than I check off. This stuff just doesn’t work! And I don’t have time to read all of the other books that have come out! And why in the world is it in a fishing blog?

If you’re still with me, here is what I’m going to do. Today I am just going to introduce myself and how I do some of what I do. Over the next few weeks, I’ll throw a topic or two out there that has worked for me, including the books and podcasts that I have found most helpful in my journey. And I’ll issue a challenge for you that some will find easy, others will find hard. But I want to be practical.

My name is Ed Roden. I’m a husband, a dad, a leader and teacher at my church, a technology leader, and I love to mentor others, fish, kayak, read, travel, and be outdoors. I don’t consider myself super organized or an exceptional productivity guru, but I tend to get stuff done. And a friend challenged me to figure out what I do that is different. So this is it. It’s a journey, not a destination, and I’m still learning.

My wife Esther and I have been married for 27 years. We (read: Esther) have homeschooled three kids, with only one college student still at home, meaning two are launched. We have worked in youth ministry, taught at my church, mentored teenagers through adults, and traveled around the nation and the world.

From a business perspective, I have owned a small technology business, I have managed infrastructure for Fortune 500 companies, and I have built process and governance for IT organizations. This has involved leading teams, being on call 24×7 in a very reactive world with hundreds of email messages to process, learning new technology, and still not only finding time for family but trying to keep it first.

I love my hobbies. Flyfishing is my favorite relaxer, and some of my productivity tips are just to allow me to have time to enjoy them. This means I have had to learn to delegate, prioritize, and let go of some things.

I am a Type-A introvert who loves people and relaxing. I like my routines and checking off the items from the to-do list. But I can also procrastinate. I probably could have launched this a month or so ago. I am a guy who hates to say no and disappoint people. I struggle with FOMO (fear of missing out). I have days that I live successfully and feel as if my goal of taking over the world (ala Pinky and the Brain) is working. Yet more often than not, I live other days where life overtakes, and I lay down at night thinking I accomplished nothing.

So I have an outline of blog posts ready to go, but my ask is for you today is to respond wherever you see this (on the site, on LinkedIn, or on Facebook) and tell me what your biggest productivity struggle is, your favorite book on the topic, or your most successful tip. I want to have a conversation.

5 thoughts on “Another post on productivity?”

  1. My biggest issue is plain and simple: I think I have more time than I do. I procrastinate. I multitask and take my sweet time because the most important tasks are the hardest, and the hardest tasks are the most intimidating.

  2. Great topic for remembering to find space for relaxation and doing some activities we enjoy! My biggest struggle with productivity is ensuring that what I’m doing is effective vs. just being efficient. I enjoy variety in work, volunteer activities, and recreation. If what my attention is on at the time doesn’t consider other commitments or interests that are more important to my customer or even myself, I may be very efficient in getting things done, but the lack of focusing on what is effective and truly productive will cost me later.

    We can learn a lot from those who have come before us. Charles F. Kettering was an amazingly productive man, who had eclectic interests. I think Charles F. Kettering could represent best what being productive according to personal interests. Most know him for the work he did in the automotive industry and for the university named after Mr. Kettering. However, he also made significant contributions to early telecommunications infrastructure, aviation product development, fuel and missile technology, farming, and Mr. Kettering started a school for children, among other accomplishments. He earned 186 patents during his lifetime. How he had time for all of these personal interests is beyond me. But there is something to learn there. In some of my previous studies, I found the references listed below of interest that were written about the life of Charles F. Kettering.

    Great topic and I look forward to reading your next blog entry!

    References:

    Boyd, Thomas Alvin. “Professional Amateur: The Biography of Charles Franklin Kettering”. [1st ed.]. New York: Dutton, 1957. Print.

    Leslie, Stuart William. “Charles F. Kettering 1876-1958″. Ph.D Diss 8019941. University of Delaware, 1980. Ann Arbor: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1980. Web. proxy.lib.utc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.utc.edu/docview/302972729?accountid=14767

    Simmons, J.E., Heather. ” Cranky no more: The life and legacy of Charles Franklin Kettering”. Elsevier World Patent Information. Volume 44. March 2016: 1. Web.
    doi.org.proxy.lib.utc.edu/10.1016/j.wpi.2015.10.005.

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