My broken computer monitor is one of “Life’s Random Inputs” that can discombobulate the most organized professional. I felt bereft without my desktop computer. Most of the tasks on my project list required a full-size monitor.
I devoted the rest of the day and the following morning to troubleshooting my desktop computer. After a lengthy call to tech support and two trips to the Apple genius bar, it turns out that my desktop computer is fine, but my 23-inch HD cinema display needed to be shipped to the repair depot.
What do people do when they have a high-priority project but lack the resources and tools to engage in it productively?
The answer is to have a list of things you can do given the context, the time frame and the resources at hand. If you lost a few days of work due to a computer meltdown, how would you manage your workload?
Brainstorm ideas for the project on my iPad. Flesh out the details.
1.Read background material on my iPhone. I bookmarked these using Instapaper, a bookmarklet that stores hyperlinks, and provides one-click links to online articles.
2.Reschedule work. I keep my next-action list on my calendar on the Mobile Me servers. This list of pre-defined work is always current. I routinely sync my calendar, email, notes, address book and bookmarks to the MobileMe servers. When I open my calendar, address book, or web browser on my other devices, the new information downloads automatically.
3.Download and process email on my iPad using my wireless keyboard.
You probably have a rich store of anecdotes from your own experience with computers. The crux of the matter is that you come up with a way to work constructively on your projects despite the limitations imposed by Life’s Random Inputs.
It’s Monday morning again; I’m fired up with ideas and working productively on my laptop, iPad and iPhone. I have significantly more options now that I can sort my actions lists with the recently added meta-data.
A young man I know celebrated his birthday at the crap tables in Atlantic City. He won $800. "Do you always win?" I asked. "Yes," he said, "I have a system." The stakes are just as high for business owners and sole proprietors. By expertly handling all the random stuff that life throws at us, there’s no such thing as a streak of bad luck.
As you refine your system, the meta-data you add will keep you in touch with all your resources.