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A Matt Update

Much going on here in Matt land, so a little update for you. These all focus on how I can help more people, more broadly. Suggestions and feedback welcome!

  • Matt brand: I'm finally getting some clarity on my bigger vision, and how it encompasses productivity. It's still emerging, but it's around providing guidance, tools, and methods for enhancing intellectual performance and happiness. (Related: Genius, Purpose, And Cool Job Descriptions - What Are *you* Built To Do?)
  • Life as an experiment: Absolutely central to my work is the idea of treating everything in life as an experiment. This is what's emerged since my big leap into consulting (see Commitment Time!). My plan is to own this idea :-) In addition to our book, our plans include discussion groups, podcasts, and more. (Related: Just for fun I've included the essential words [1] my colleague and I came up with that make up the approach.)
  • Blog: I'll continue to write weekly essays, while expanding the them to match my original "IdeaMatt" direction: Tools and ideas for the terminally curious [2]. I'll be migrating some of this to my new newsletter and others to products (see below), but still giving away lots of content I hope you'll find valuable. I'll also be examining how to tastefully monetize this work. I hope you'll help set the direction via an upcoming survey.
  • Consulting: I'm continuing to grow my practice, which is the current economic engine [3] that fuels this all. Stay tuned for new products and services (see next).
  • New services: In addition to my on-site 1:1, group, and workshops, I'll be rolling out new telecoaching offerings, including:

    • Workflow jumpstart (both individuals and group)
    • Project planning for individuals (pulling ideas and tools from my research, as referred to in Simple Project Planning For Individuals: A Round-up)
    • Daily planning & accountability series (inspired by A Daily Planning Experiment: Two Weeks Of Accountable Rigorous Action)
    • Productivity "Checkride" [4] (making sure your existing system is running true, including checking your I/O balance)
    • Idea System Assessment & Improvement (processes for capture, organization, re-finding and use of the information we deal with in our daily lives)
    • Facilitated book groups (a learning experience around great books and wide domains, with me as your guide - an excuse to keep your mind sharp! [5])

  • Products:

    • Workflow self-study program (a self-paced series based on the 100+ page booklet my workshop participants receive, with the option of group telecoaching)
    • Productivity assessment and diagnosis tool (a much-expanded version of my GTD Workflow Assessment/Tips Checklist, with targeted content to address trouble areas)
    • The Productivity Missing Manual (for anyone familiar with GTD, you'll be very comfortable with this collection of best ideas to solve the issues that come up implementing a system on your own)

  • Newsletter: Finally, I'm very excited to be rolling out my newsletter. I've avoided doing Yet Another Time Management Newsletter until I had something unique and valuable to say, but now it's clicked. Look for it soon.



  • [1] The words we came up with included:

    • alternatives
    • ambiguity/uncertainty
    • assumption
    • capture
    • collaboration
    • compassion
    • creativity
    • curiosity
    • data
    • detachment/objectivity
    • discovery
    • empiricism
    • equanimity
    • eureka
    • experiment
    • failure/mistakes
    • faith
    • flexibility
    • gratitude
    • happiness
    • insight
    • method
    • mindfulness
    • mindset
    • observation
    • perspective
    • playfulness/play
    • questions
    • risk/courage
    • serendipity/synchronicity
    • simplicity
    • transformation
    • zest

  • [2] I'm still working on a nice tagline. This particular one is inspired by Dorothy Parker's brilliant
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

  • [3] From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap.. and Others Don't, there are three intersecting circles required for greatness, including 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic engine.
  • [4] From the Wikipedia Checkride entry:
    Throughout the check ride, the examinee should be evaluated on the use of the appropriate checklist. After informing the examinee that his/her use of checklist will be evaluated, watch the examinee's use of said checklist. It should be very obvious if the examinee is comfortable using the checklist. Obviously the check list can be used in several different ways. Whether the checklist is used during each step or reviewed to ensure all items are covered after an activity is complete is immaterial. Bottom line, the checklist should be consulted when appropriate. In soaring the use of common take off and landing check lists is common and certainly acceptable.

  • [5] I've been enjoying Jonah Lehrer's work, including the idea that our brains need rigorous workouts to stay in shape. See Aging Gracefully -- It's a Real Workout. He says several studies suggest that it's largely an ancillary benefit of "sustained cognitive engagement," or thinking intensely on a regular basis. Admit it - that's you ;-)

Reader Comments (6)

One word sums it all: bravo!

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPascal Venier

Much appreciated!

November 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

Hey Matt,

I'm very interested in the facilitated book groups. This would be a great way to get different perspectives on the chosen work. This could really enhance understanding of concepts, principles, and ideas. It would also be beneficial to hear related experiences associated with the reading.

I would also be interested in previewing your workflow self-study material. So please make sure you offer up a detailed outline and index. I'm always interested in new and renewed thoughts on this. As always, keep up the good work and keep us informed. Also, let us know when you start the newsletter, how to subscribe, cost, etc.


November 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavey Moyers

Great projects Matt.
Is starting a company also in plan?

November 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanGTD

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. All very helpful. I'll keep everyone informed.

November 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

Thanks for the question, DanGTD. No plans to grow beyond myself at this time.

November 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

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