I’m currently putting together the February article for my Business of Writing column in Writing Magazine and, because next year is a leap year and we’re getting a whole extra day in which to write, I’m looking at productivity techniques.
I’ve approached a selection of writers asking for their tips, but I also wanted to get a couple of quotes from a productivity expert. One of the best-known productivity experts is an American man called David Allen, who wrote the book: Getting Things Done. (He’s such an expert he’s often referred to as a ‘productivity guru’.) And he’s sold a few copies of that book too … nearly two million copies worldwide. His Getting Things Done technique is now a multi-million dollar business for him, and he’s recently updated his bestselling book (check out the new version at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-free-Productivity/dp/0349408947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443110510&sr=8-1&keywords=David+Allen)
My immediate thought was: No, don’t even bother trying to get in touch with him. His company executives will filter out his emails, the chances of him responding are practically zero. It would be a waste of time.
But the more I thought about what I wanted to say in my article, the more I realised that a few quotes from him on a specific aspect of the subject matter would be beneficial. So, nothing ventured, nothing gained - I got in touch.
Twenty four hours later, I had a reply, with some useful quotes, and he’d also sent me the link to download the obligatory author photo, which I could forward to my editor. Brilliant!
Which goes to show two things:
1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
2. His Getting Things Done technique clearly works, because he had plenty of time in which to answer my questions ;-)
So next time you find a little voice inside your head telling you not to bother - tell it to shut up and just do it.