My favorite 5 personal development blogs

Priscilla Palmer tagged me to contribute a list of my top 5 favorite personal development blogs to her Personal Development List. Her list is already very comprehensive and I've found several pointers to great sites I did not know yet.

Well then, here's my list:

  • Problogger, by Darren Rowse
    Darren is blogging about - blogging. Doesn't sound like «personal development»? It is, due to his laid back, factual style of writing that is skipping the common hard selling lingo.
  • zen habits, by Leo Babauta
    Leo is a father of six, a busy guy and a phenomenal blogger. I wonder how he manages to get that many high quality postings per week out of the door. One day, I may discover that secret...
  • Made to Be Great, by Alan Torres
    For a moment, forget that worn out and ironic appeal of the word and let me say that Alan is nice, really. Besides his own insightful postings, he compiles the Made to Be Great Personal Development Carnival.
  • Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog
    Steve's site contains a tremendous wealth of articles. His style is energetic and straightforward, almost like a steamroller. You may not like everything he writes, but everything is genuine, for sure.
  • The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
    In short, Gretchen is about the only blogger I know who can post both about household chores as well as about sex tips - and not lose credibility.

That's it, for now. Google Reader tells my that I'm subscribed to about 100 feeds now, so take this list with a grain of salt.

[2007-09-05 Update: Priscilla's List has stabilized meanwhile, so here it is:

and these collaborated sites:


What is (not) a GTD context?

A key asset of every practitioner of Getting Things Done (GTD) is her or his set of Next-Action (NA) Lists.

NAs are not dumped into a single ToDo list. Instead, each list is focused on a given context that allows you to complete the action. According to David Allen, a context describes the tool, location or person that is required to be able to complete an action.

@Home, @Office, @Phone are typical examples. When you arrange your NAs like that, you're obviously in a much better position as soon as you're in the respective context and want to know what you should do now.

But what exactly is a context, and what isn't?  »

Successful meetings, or: The Great Commandment of Communication

You've completed the room reservation in time. You've arranged for coffee and beverages. You've set up the agenda and mailed it in advance to all participants. All feedback has been incorporated, of course. All flip chart supports are loaded with fresh pads of paper.

As a true follower of Getting Things Done (GTD), you've tracked all those tasks as next action items and completed them, over time. You think you've also dealt with the 20,000 feet perspective on that little meeting project; covered all areas of your responsibilities.

Then the meeting begins. Discussion starts. After a while, you feel like you'd rather be amidst a bunch of howler monkeys during their mating season. Why isn't anybody listening?

Maybe, you've missed some of your responsibilities. You have dealt with facts, space and time, but maybe you were not paying enough attention to the

Great Commandment of Communication:
You shall listen fourfold and you shall speak fourfold.  »

Stephen R. Coveys «The 7 Habits» (2/8): Be Proactive

Stephen R. Covey's «The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People» isn't a quick read. It doesn't want to be either. For Covey, success is based on habitual formation of the character - comparable to the cycle of sowing and harvesting and about as time-consuming.

In this eight-part series, I'm going to present the key concepts of the book and what I've learned from them. This is Part 2 of the series. An overview of the series can be found here.

Between stimulus and reaction: Being proactive

Humans can decide how to react to a stimulus, while animals can't. Thats what Steven Covey considers to be the biggest difference between them. It's his explanation of responsibility:  »

4 steps to reduce confrontation and anger: A cure from 1951

You've probably been there: despite your best intentions a conversation turns sore with anger or even into a heated dispute. How could anybody be so stubborn and tenacious? The behavior you'd like to see just vanishes somewhere on the horizon. How could things get so out of hand?

If you're assuming, in principle, that your counterpart is quite reasonable, «in general», then there is hope. Precisely because you might have nearly forgotten that assumption.

The concept I'll describe was written down in 1951 by Paul Helwig, a German psychologist, philosopher, stage director and screenplay writer. Later, Friedemann Schulz von Thun (a psychologist, too) added several practical extensions to it.  »