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The CORD Productivity Model – Part 1

Personal productivity is a massive issue so over the next four posts we’re going to introduce you to the CORD productivity model Collect, Organise, Review, Do. This is from “How to be a Productivity Ninja” by Graham Allcott.

The principles are simple and easy to follow and can massively help improve your productivity. There is a lot to cover so we will just outline the key messages, you really should read the book to a get a full understanding.

It highlights how we need to operate in two different modes; boss mode and worker mode. In boss mode we do most of our thinking and organisation, then in worker mode, we do just that , work, we become free from the noise and clutter that disorganisation brings and are we are able to work in a much more focused and productive way. Your worker self takes care of the C and the D , your boss self takes care of the O and the R.

It is important to keep on top of each of the four elements:

  • Not enough Capture & Collect – feelings of being overwhelmed as new inputs arrive, uncertainty about what we should be doing, feeling stressed that we might be missing things.
  • Not enough Organisation – a lack of clarity about how long things might take, what is the highest priority, unrealistic impression of what’s really on your plate.
  • Not enough Review – feeling unsure that we are on top of our work, lack of perspective, constant stress that leads to inefficiency, constant sense of panic and working in a reactive rather than proactive way.
  • No enough Do – work piling up and and not getting done, resisting the doing and spending more time tinkering & organising.

The Capture & Collect habit

We are surrounded by inputs all day every day; email, telephone, post, text messaging, social media, clients, meetings the list goes on. Also don’t forget your own mind, how often do you think of something you need to do, but you don’t put it into your task list, it’s just floating around in your head as something you need to remember to do?

We need to develop a strategy for processing this information, throwing out things we don’t need, filing things we may need later and be left with a set of actions so that our worker self can perform the actions we need to do.

You will probably have more collection points than you really need. These need to be trimmed down so that you have a more concise set of collection points. There are some exercises in the book that can help you do this.

In the next post we’ll look at the Organise Habit.

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