How to Rescue Failing Software Projects: Practical Proven Methods That Work

IMG_1712 My book is finally available as an eBook, on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon. I wrote this book to share my experience in how to rescue failing software projects. When I was going through such a situation, I had no one to turn to. My hope is that the information in this book will be useful to those in similar situations. Although the information in the book pertains to software projects, I have come to realize that the techniques can be used in many other situations. I have personally used these techniques in business and technical projects.

You can read more about it here.
My book can be purchased here at
Amazon Kindle version is available here at

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Self-Effectiveness: Write, write, write

About 14 years ago, I came across the term "self effectiveness". It is all about using your time and energy effectively. This is a first of many posts that I will write on self effectiveness. This post only focuses on the first and simple step called "writing". I will cover the other steps in future posts.

Achieving self effectiveness is simple to understand, but very hard to do. Let me tell you why. We are all indisciplined and more often than not, lazy by nature. Before I go into the techniques, let's understand why self effectiveness is so important. Self effectiveness propels a person to achieve his goals. By being effective, he/she gets the job done, which brings him/her closer to the goal. This in effect is called taking action. So what's the big deal?

Its easy if you only have 1 goal and a few activities. For most of us, we have 1001 things to do. How can you balance all you have to do, meet deadlines, achieve goals and not be stressed? To write is the first step to self effectiveness. There are just a few more steps, which I will write about in later posts. All these steps take less than 30 minutes a day in total.

Well, most of the time, we keep information in our brain. We retain our to-do lists, schedules, goals in our brains. Our brains are powerful. We only use about 1% of our brain power and there is so much untapped potential. Our brain should be used for "higher value add" type work such as...thinking, planning, and executing in order to achieve our goals. Don't let it get overwhelmed with details of activities and lists by remembering.

Thus, the first step in self effectiveness is to WRITE. That's right. Write everything you need to do. I do not mean on little pieces of paper, notepads, sticky notes. Everything you need to do, your goals, your schedules, should all be written in one single place. That's right. One single place. You should not be spending hours hunting for your to-do list on a piece of paper, nor trying to remember where you put the piece of paper! :-) I do not advocate to do lists. Every activity must be time bound. (I will cover more on this in future posts)

When you write, you unload a lot of stress from your mind. Instead of information overload in trying to remember activities to be done, your mind is now at ease that it knows where to find the activities it needs to do without losing sleep over it.

Have I done this? Yes I have. It certainly sounds simple. It took me more than 9 months to make writing this down into a habit. Even today, I still lapse into my old habit of writing on pieces of paper, but much less. How do I feel? I feel less stress. The feeling is amazing when you offload your mind through writing things down in a single place. I cannot stress how simple this sounds, but how effective it is. Each month, I accomplish more than 150 activities, yes 1-5-0. IF you have never taken stock of your activities, just try it. You will be amazed at the number of things you do in a month.

If your activities for the month do not contribute to you getting closer to you goal, then your goal is only a dream. This is how you achieve your goal, step by step in a structured and effective manner.

The method is simple, too simple to believe, BUT IT WORKS. I am a living example of a person who have changed using this simple technique, living with less stress caused by information overload. I am not perfect at it yet, but it has helped me tremendously.

So in summary, the first step to self effectiveness is to WRITE. It helps to jog your memory when needed. Use your mind more effectively to achieve your goals. The trick to all this is to make it a habit. It must be a habit or it won't be effective. Try it. What have you got to lose? Nothing. But everything to gain. Do it consistently for 4 weeks until it becomes a habit.

In my future posts, I will write about the other aspects of how to achieve self effectiveness, such as time management, goals and reviews and how to link all these together so that you are not overwhelmed by just trying to be effective.

Happy writing!
Copyright Bernard Ong, 2006


Anonymous said...

As it is curious.. :)

Bernard Ong said...

Thanks for stopping by. It is interesting as this action does work, simple as it may sound. :)

Anonymous said...

The valuable information

Bernard Ong said...

Thank You. I hope the info is useful to you.