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42

A few techniques that I find useful are: Keep a journal and write your goals every morning. The act of writing is often enough to keep the intent in the front of my mind and I am less prone to falling into a behavior I'm trying to modify. Use a timer and only do 45 minutes of work. The time pressure helps focus you and if you fail you've only lost 45 ...


19

GTD/DA Position First and foremost, the Inbox should be emptied whenever you can process it, although its recommended to do it every 24 to 48 hours. David Allen addresses this in Making It All Work: Use and Empty Your In-baskets This practice should be self-evident by now (if it wasn't to begin with)--you've got to use your in-baskets for them to ...


19

In my recent poking around several different systems, I've noticed a couple different recurring themes: Reduce input to actionable tasks: Whether it's collecting and processing items in GTD to "close open loops" or moving all emails out of the Inbox in Inbox Zero, the concept is to not deal with multiple To Do lists and projects and sources of information ...


18

You have two basic choices: Use the same system for home and work (e.g. a paper-based system, a PDA/smart phone, online software) and treat @Home and @Work as different contexts. This seems to be the way David Allen and others recommend, because then you only have the one system to maintain. Use a different system for home and work. This is what I prefer, ...


18

Automate Accelerate Delegate Delete Automate The first thing to do is make sure you are taking advantage of automation as much as you can. Your email can be sorted automatically into different folders, allowing you to choose which ones you don't need to look at now. Mailing list subscriptions, for example. You can also automate, at least partially, how ...


17

First thing you need to do is set limits for yourself, you only have X number of hours in the week to work on project 1, Y on project 2 and Z on school. Add 8*7 hours of sleep and 4*7 hours of wind downtime - trust me you need it - leaves you with 48 hours in the week to spend on X, Y and Z. Second without fixing the bugs all your work is worthless, use ...


17

Congratulations on developing an effective capture habit. That's an important step. What you haven't developed yet is an effective processing step. That's where you take all those things you captured and decide what they mean to you. Evaluate them with regard to your higher level objectives (20 thousand foot areas of focus, 30 thousand foot 1-3 year goals, ...


16

What is GTD? Getting Things Done (GTD), an organizational work-life managament system created by productivity consultant David Allen, provides concrete solutions for transforming overwhelm and uncertainty into an integrated system of stress free productivity. It rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them ...


16

If you're into crazy lifehacks, I highly recommend using commitment devices on yourself. Here's a list of tools for doing so: http://blog.beeminder.com/competitors [disclosure: I'm part of Beeminder, one of those tools]


15

How do you make effective use of time available with "low energy"? Do easy tasks. Go through your list and pick the easiest, most mindless task you can find and do it. Seeing the task get crossed off will give you a little more motivation to keep going, creating a positive spiral. If you're truly burnt out, stop trying to force yourself to work and ...


14

The best answer is probably at http://zenhabits.net/zen-to-done-ztd-the-ultimate-simple-productivity-system/ -- Leo Babauta literally wrote the book on Zen To Done, and this post is his introduction to the system, comparing it with GTD.


14

Besides cutting down projects (which you don't want) there are two other options I can think off to do more: Strip actions. Review your project actions carefully and make sure you only do the actions needed to achieve the project outcome. Delegate. Review what actions you can delegate. If you don't have someone to delegate to, look at where you could get ...


13

Personally, the weekly review is what brings all that together. Realistically, you are not going to work on every next action in one week. So just have a list of what next actions you are going to work on and the context in which you will do them. Then at your next weekly review, sort back those actions you completed to the projects they were for. ...


13

I've been using RTM (both web and iPhone) as my GTD system for over a year and have found it incredibly helpful and ideally suited to my needs. I originally started with this advice from the RTM blog, but quickly streamlined the system to something less complex to manage and with less overhead. What I've liked the most are the power of the smart lists and ...


13

I also used to get in "trap"s like these... The best way (IMHO) that I follow is to keep yourself busy i.e. give yourself short term and easy goals regularly. As these short term golss are easy enough and do not take significant time, you will not get demotivated and you'll also save time. Now those short term activities should be in sync with your long ...


13

Get rid of your TV. I did it 10 years ago and never looked back. UPDATE: To complete my answer, I would like to generalize my rule. Whenever I want to remove a bad habit, I make it hard to indulge in the habit. If I don't want to watch TV so much, I throw the TV away. If I want to stop playing video games so much, I uninstall the games from my ...


12

Find a peer group that is productive. Seriously. Productivity is like running, or cycling, or a number of other individual sports that require a constant effort and benefit from peer interaction. It is fine to do solo runs, but spending some time with a pack can help get you motivated and will help you build up a good cadence.


12

43 folders - Getting started with Getting Things Done outlines: identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops) get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values put your stuff in the right place, ...


12

First of all; GTD, Pomodoro and planning are 3 different things! GTD is basically a method to keep track of all your activities so you don't forget anything. From a GTD perspective all you need to do right now is to add the first step of your project to your to-do list (for example, go to the bookstore to buy a book on Unit3d). If you finish that activity, ...


11

David Allen says repeatedly - though not as a first thing - that there is no difference between Home and Work for GTD. It is all project, context and actions. The main difference, I think, is that most of the time you may rely on your coworkers to do the tasks you delegated to them. That's in their contract and they are paid for it. With a spouse, you ...


11

In my opinion, the reason that breaking down tasks works is because it makes your vision for what you want done more concrete. Breaking down tasks more achieves this better, but it also takes up more of your time before you actually get started working. Probably the best thing to do is to break down your tasks a fair amount at first. (There's a limit to ...


11

What if you do mainly GTD and Pomodoro-lite". Use GTD for your workflow and keep the list of tasks there. What happens next depends on if you have big related tasks or lots of little tasks. For a big task, set the timer and work on it without interruption. For little tasks, hack away at the GTD list but don't accept new entries or distractions within a ...


11

I see most of the answers talk about identifying doable tasks, single-tasking and prioritizing. I think another quite important aspect is review. I think most of the systems (certainly GTD , Pomodoro, Agile in IT) talk about Review. Review is what allows you to learn and course-correct how you are doing things. I think Pomodoro and agile reviews are ...


11

No, this is definitely not a mistake. In fact, I'd be very surprised if you didn't find yourself with multiple next actions for a given project. For example, think of any large construction project. There are obviously steps that have clear predecessor-successor relationships: you cannot put up the drywall until the walls are framed, you can't paint until ...


11

ZTD was already mentioned as a simplified alternative to GTD Manage Your Workday Now (formerly Total Workday Control) is an alternative to GTD: see: http://michaellinenberger.com/ there is also a free ebook "The one minute todo list" from the same author, which explains the basics of M. Linenbergers system: ...


10

Open the message, Click "More", select "Add to Task", click on the new task, enter due date. Switch back to the message and move/archive. That gives you a task with the link to the original message. (Also, first time): Switch to the calendar and ensure Tasks show up on the calendar. Now, just review the Calendar daily as per normal GTD rules. That's the ...


10

It doesn't recommend handling task dependencies, because if done properly it shouldn't be a problem. Why is that? Because a task that is dependent on an unfinished task shouldn't be in your Next Actions.


10

I've tried a lot of book techniques, like keeping time sheets, banning internet domains in /etc/hosts, going on an internet and videogame diet etc etc, but none of those worked for me. A few years ago I came up with this method: I watchdog myself and whenever I find myself doing something dubious while I should really be doing things that have to be done, I ...


9

So we start on the same page, next actions should be grouped by context, not project: @office versus European vacation. If you're having trouble remembering what project a given action is associated with (although I would think in most cases it would be obvious), then include the project title in the task description. For example: Europe vaca: email Mika ...


9

If almost all your open items arrive by email, then it can be advantageous to manage the emails themselves as representing the open items. Outlook folders are somewhat inflexible because you can only view one folder at a time. Instead, if you're using Outlook I would suggest creating custom views that let you select whichever subset of your items you want ...



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