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How to Make Your To-Do List Doable

How to Make Your To-Do List Doable
@lyndyn: I have a lot of these repeating tasks (like write Geek to Live feature, for instance, which happens every Wednesday, or go to the post office box to check for new mail, twice a week.) What I do is keep them in a calendar which is always on my desktop, showing me today's reminder items (ie, "Feature story due" and "Pick up mail.") That's stacked just below my todo list. That way I can see immediately what I have to do today by virtue of the fact that it is today, but I don't have to go through the motions of adding, checking off, and re-adding. The next day, the tickler items go away and refresh automatically. YMMV, of course. Flagged

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Simplifying David Allen’s Complicated GTD Setup Every Monday is Productivity & Organization Day at Zen Habits. Take a look at the setup on the right. It was published in a recent CNNMoney article on David Allen and GTD, and it outlines The David’s GTD setup. It’s way too complicated. That’s just my opinion, of course, but the master of GTD is a living example of how GTD is a great system that has great concepts, but can get way too tool-heavy and complicated when implemented. It doesn’t have to be that way. Building a Smarter To-Do List, Part II Conclusion of our two-part series on improving the quality of your to-do list. Yesterday's post covered some basics and whys, the concept of the “next action,” and the importance of physicality. « Start with yesterday's “Building a Smarter To-Do List, Part I” Keep it Current While you can and probably should track more than one next action at a time for each project (these are all the things that can be done now), it's vital to differentiate a true next action from any of the garden-variety items that just need to be done at some point later.

Building a Smarter To-Do List, Part I Since new folks visit 43F each day, I thought it might be valuable to return to one of our most popular evergreen topics to review some "best practices" for keeping a good to-do list. While a lot of this might be old hat to some of you, it's a good chance to review the habits and patterns behind one of the most powerful tools in the shed. Part 2 appears tomorrow (Update: now available). A Case for Singletasking: The One-Task-At-a-Time Method One man's thoughts - To Do Lists are great when they are not longer than what you can do in a typical day - for the most part, and assuming that at the end of your day you review what has been and has not been accomplished and prepare your Tomorrow's To Do List in advance. As to multi-tasking, the reality is that multi-tasking is just slicing up your time into a string of short periods of concentration on different subjects, and each time your brain moves from one subject to another it is required to refresh histrical data in order to process new input - thus those who are trying to "multi task" are in fact using up some percentage of their processing power in a constant refresh mode - which may be requirement of their environment - not good, not bad, just fact. Slicing up time and allocating mental resources to various tasks is driven in part by the nature of your day, your work, but also your own definition of accomplishment.

Getting started with "Getting Things Done" This article was originally posted during the first week of 43 Folders' existence, and, pound for pound, it remains our most popular page on the site. Please be sure to also visit related pages, browse our GTD topic area, plus, of course you can search on GTD across our family of sites. I’ll be talking a lot here in coming weeks about Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen whose apt subtitle is “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.” You’ve probably heard about it around the Global Interweb or have been buttonholed by somebody in your office who swears by GTD.

How to Organize Evernote for Maximum Efficiency Please note: The way I organize Evernote today is completely different than what I wrote here. You can find my updated methodology here. I have been using Evernote for months. However, I have not really taken time to explore the depth of this incredible program until just recently. Clean Out Your To-Do List for Guilt-Free Productivity This is a great article. After trying different methods I find having 2 'to do lists' really works. The 1st list is a must follow list, which is broken down into what to do today, this week and this month, it covers routine requirements with space to add ad hoc extras as they arise e.g. phone client etc. Having one eye on the month as well as the day, means that if a day is light (I wish) then I can accomplish some of the weekly or monthly tasks.

How to Start Using Procedure Checklists for Flawless Task Execution I've been using procedural checklists for household based chores ever since I realized my family members were refusing to help on the basis they didn't know what to do. Now when it's Chore Hour (something we do every other night in my house), I pass out a laminated sheet to each person with his/her cleaning task. At the top of each sheet is a list of cleaning items they'll need (microfiber cloths, glass cleaner, vacuum, etc.). They grab their items and begin at the top of the list, marking each item off with a crayon as they go.

5 simple ways to stop procrastinating We all procrastinate every now and then, and for me it’s become a bad habit! As my work pile stacks up, I find myself putting things off for the next day and then more work piles up and it becomes a vicious cycle! It’s even harder when you work for yourself and are responsible for your time management. How Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret Fixed My Procrastination Problem I’ve long been overwhelmed by an unwieldy list of goals that would sit, unaccomplished, in a long-term to-do list year after year. Then I came across a simple trick that solved my chronic problem. As gimmicky as it may sound, I’m now accomplishing everything I’d been putting off in just an hour a day. Here’s how you can, too.

The Item Hierarchy in v0.8 Parents and children When we want to get something done - like, say, get a web-package to manage my task list - then usually I can't do it in one action: it gets broken down into several tasks. So, I create a project "get a web-package to manage my task list", and then I set out what the very next thing I have to do, to start making that happen: "search web for existing GTD software". That's a next action, and the sole reason I'm doing it is to get one step closer to making the project happen.

8 free (or almost free) tools to organize your life You can write all the to-do lists you want, but if you keep losing those scraps of paper, they’re not much help. So we rounded up eight easy ways to move your lists beyond pen and paper. Each website meets our requirements for contact-info disclosure and customer service, and all have free apps so that you can go mobile. 3 People You Need to Train to Use the Inbox When you get to your desk, is there a message slip on your keyboard? Maybe a Post-It note on your monitor? Perhaps a stack of important files on your chair? Each of those piles of paperwork needs your attention, but there’s not exactly any order to it. The files will get stacked somewhere else on your desk so you can sit down. The message slip will get pushed off to one side so that you can take care of something online immediately — and something similar will happen to that Post-It so that you can see the screen.