A GTD Renaissance

When I started this blog in 2006, its original title was Lines from Lee. It was a Seinfeldesque blog: it didn’t have a definite subject. My main purpose was to learn the mechanics of blogging so that if Mayo Clinic ever decided to start a blog I would know how to do it.

In the earliest days I focused on live-blogging conferences, essentially publishing my notes from various presentations.

I soon saw a connection between blogging and another passion I had developed: Getting Things Done (a.k.a. GTD). This 2002 New York Times bestselling book by David Allen had been revolutionary for me personally, and I also appreciated the online community that had embraced it. Through my blog I explored how blogging technology was compatible with GTD. It gave me a lot of blogging material, and a chance to explore connections between two of my new-found passions.

I even worked GTD into the title of my blog, calling it PR, New Media and GTD: Lines from Lee.

A fateful presentation led to the renaming of this blog to Social Media University, Global (SMUG) and a focus that aligned with my evolving role at Mayo Clinic, as I began to focus more on social media and less on traditional media relations.

So GTD was out of the blog’s title even as the methodology continued to help me navigate my fast-changing work environment, and also to create capacity for exploration of “new media” opportunities.

For the last decade I’ve gone through cycles of stronger GTD implementation followed by relapses. I’ve found that I’m at my best when I’m consistently following GTD best practices.

Last February a colleague and fellow GTD practitioner suggested it would be good to have a speaker on GTD for our Communications Division retreat in August. That led me to do a little exploring, and I found that VitalSmarts had licensed the intellectual property from David Allen for in-person public GTD training courses in the U.S., as well as for “train the trainer’ education.

So in late April I took the GTD one-day course, followed by two days of training so I could be certified to facilitate the course for Mayo Clinic staff, and I completed that certification by teaching it several times to more than 100 Mayo colleagues.

In our fast-paced world that only seems to be speeding up, I’ve found the principles of GTD make the difference between surviving and truly having the psychic bandwidth to see and seize opportunities.

This one-day training course is particularly helpful because it gets you into applying the methodology in real time, even as you’re learning it.

As you’re looking to make the most of 2019, I’d encourage you to at least get the updated version of the book, and also to consider the full-day course. If you’d like to explore the concepts further, check out my GTD tag archives.

Have you implemented GTD? What has been your experience with it?

Happy New Year!

As the Aase clan looks forward to an exciting 2019, we’re thankful for the many blessings we experienced in the year that concludes tonight.

The 6,000-mile driving vacation Lisa and I took was a major highlight. We left from Austin July 27 in our Chevy Cruze with no agenda but to drive west. We had a few ideas of places we wanted to visit, but mainly we wanted the windshield tour of the country. We never made hotel reservations for more than a day in advance, and that led to some interesting discoveries.

Our route took us to DeSmet, South Dakota (a Laura Ingalls Wilder site) and Mount Rushmore on the second day. After a night in Butte, Montana we were on to Seattle for two nights. We visited Dan and Sandy Hinmon (and toured the museum with Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose) in McMinnville, Oregon on the way down to the Pacific coast.

After a couple of days in Eureka, California (a delightful coastal town the size of Austin, Minn. that was one of our serendipitous discoveries due to our “No Plan” travel plan), we took the Avenue of the Giants to see the Redwoods.

Our only other two-night stay was in San Diego, where we had a delightful visit to the beach, and then it was on to the Grand Canyon (my first visit) and to Winchester, Kansas, where a couple of our granddaughters were celebrating birthdays.

Two breathtaking wonders of Creation.

Here are some other photos from the trip:

For the first 32 years of our marriage we only took a few longer vacations with our six kids (a trip to Washington, DC and a couple of Florida trips were the big ones.) Now that our nest is empty we enjoy taking advantage of increased opportunities to travel together.

Speaking of an empty nest, here’s what’s up with our kids:

Rachel and her husband Kyle Borg still live with their five kids in Winchester, where he’s a Presbyterian pastor. On their 10th anniversary they took a cruise and left the kids with us, and that has started a tradition. We look forward to having them stay with us again in a couple of weeks, and we plan to start with a day at Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe with as many of our descendants (and significant others) as can make it. It’s become a great family tradition.

Midweek visits to Nickelodeon Universe = More rides for the money
While Grandpa takes kids on rides, Grandma guards the strollers.

Jacob and his wife Alexi and their three kids live in Rochester. Jake is a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic. It’s great to see those kids every week at church (and sometimes more frequently).

Rebekah and Andrew Gatzemeyer live just seven blocks away from us in Austin with their son Griffin. Andrew works at Mayo in the appointment office, and for about a year was riding to work with me every day. Now he’s teleworking so we don’t have that ride, but sometimes I take Griffin to Alexi for day care while Rebekah is at work. She’s a nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin.

Ruthie and her husband Trevin Hoot are going to be long-term missionaries to Bulgaria through our church (Presbyterian Church in America) mission agency, Mission to the World. In May we were in St. Louis for his graduation from Seminary. They’ve raised more than 90 percent of the support they need, and so we expect they’ll move to Sofia in March.

With Ruthie and Trevin for his graduation.

Joe graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato this month and is working full-time for Ameripride. He’s thankful to have a good job that he was able to do during his last year of college and that he can continue to do and enjoy as he considers his next steps.

Our youngest, John, is in his second year at the University of Northwestern in suburban St. Paul, Minn. He took post-secondary classes in his last two years of high school, so he’s planning to graduate in a little over a year. He also had a big announcement on Christmas Day:

John and Bella

So, if you’re keeping score, we have

  • Six kids, four of whom are married
  • Five granddaughters
  • Four grandsons, and
  • More on the way.

How many more? You’ll have to see in next year’s review.

But here’s a gallery of some of our blessings so far:

In a future post I’ll review some professional highlights of 2018.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Applying Social Media for Patients with Rare Diseases

I’m in Houston, TX this morning to present at RARE on the Road, a workshop for patients and caregivers living with rare diseases.

This is the first of three such workshops this summer presented by Global Genes and the Every Life Foundation for Rare Diseases. The next one will be June 30 in Salt Lake City, and the final session July 21 in Nashville.

Here are my slides:

We’re glad the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network can be a resource supporting this worthy cause.

Using Buffer to Extend Your Twitter Presence

If you’re like most busy people (and like me) you probably grab small slices of time to engage in your social media accounts.

As a result, you may find yourself posting three or four tweets in relatively rapid succession, which can have two negative effects:

  1. People who happen to check Twitter around that time might unfollow you because they think you’re spamming, or
  2. Others who miss your five-minute outburst won’t see your post at all.

Buffer provides an easy, elegant solution to both potential problems.

Of course you can use Tweetdeck to schedule some of your tweets into the future, but with each tweet you need to decide the day and time you want it to be published, which is an extra step.

The nice thing about Buffer is that you can set a schedule of publishing slots once, and then when you add a new tweet it just goes into the queue.

Here’s the schedule I set up:

When I run across a post I’d like to tweet, I can just add to my queue, and it will be published in the next available slot. Any spontaneous tweets I post outside of Buffer will fill in gaps among the 2-4 regularly scheduled ones.

With the free Basic account you can have up to 10 posts in the queue. For most people that’s probably enough. I upgraded to Pro to increase the limit to 100.

Buffer works with other platforms besides Twitter

In conjunction with a curated source of content like our Mayo Clinic Champions newsfeed or the one we have on the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, Buffer can make it easy to have a solid presence on Twitter in just a few minutes a week.


AASLD Webinar: Have You Googled Yourself?

Today I’m giving a webinar for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) focusing on the role social media can play in online reputation management for physicians.

Here are my slides:

AASLD has a helpful Social Media Essentials page you should check out, too.