Last night after work I met my friend, Karen, for dinner on the East Side (which is how we Milwaukeeans refer to the area bounded by the lake on the east, the river on the west, Capitol Drive on the north, and North Avenue on the south; and even more ironic than North being south, while I’m thinking about it, is Center Street being several blocks north of North, like “center” of what?), followed by an author event at Boswell Books, featuring a talk and booksigning by Austin Kleon.
Kleon has written three books about how to build and maintain a successful creative practice. I’ve read his first two already (How to Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work) and look forward to reading his third, Keep Going, which I bought last night (and Kleon signed all three books for me, which is fun).
In the Q+A session at the end of Kleon’s talk, someone asked how he is able to be so productive. Kleon said he has three things he prioritizes every day: 1) getting his 10,000 steps in, 2) writing in his diary (which, when he’s on a book tour includes writing a letter to his wife, which he takes a picture of and sends her, while the original letter stays in his diary as an entry), and 3) writing a blog post.
“Also,” he added, almost as an afterthought, “I’m a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done.”
OMG, so am I! I discovered and bought the Getting Things Done book a couple years ago after reading in another book Drew Carey’s account of how David Allen and his book saved his career. I found that other book (Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength) in Google Books, and I think this link will take you right to that section so you can read it yourself. Carey’s story is super inspiring (gee, even successful people struggle with organization!) and a super-strong testimonial to David Allen’s list-and-folder time/project-management technique. I’m still a work in progress, but after reading through the book multiple times to reinforce my actual practice, I’ve finally internalized Allen’s methods and feel far more in control of my life since I began trying to use the flowchart in his book.
So all in all it was a very good evening, a nice midweek break. I got to see my friend, eat a nice dinner, get inspired about creativity, meet an author whose books I emjoy, and get my books signed by said author.
The horizontal strip of glowing green light crossing Juneau in the distance is the skywalk connecting the parking garage to Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena. The red neon strip beyond that is the old Pabst Brewery sign, also stretching across Juneau at the western edge of downtown Milwaukee. Just immediately beyond the “Deer District,” which is what they’re calling the area around the new arena now, the old Pabst brewing complex has been renovated and repurposed as apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, bars, and UW-Milwaukee’s School of Public Health campus.
No real reason for including this photo in today’s post. It just struck me as I was sitting at the traffic light that those two glowing bands of light represented an intriguing combination of old and new Milwaukee.