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9

The answer is simple and straightforward: Minimalism. Don't fall into the trap (that I already did one thousand times) of GTD strategies and Time management Gods/Gurus (or whatever they call themselves) which aim to sell something "complicated" in order to present themselves as more clever and smart than us. Through my research crusade all these years to ...


8

Your overall problem is described by David Allen in "Getting Things Done" as the widget cranking problem. If your job is to crank widgets, you know what "done" looks like. The pile of uncranked widgets gets cranked and moved to the done pile. The issue is that your projects are more ambiguous than that. So what you need to do is resolve the ambiguity by ...


7

I think you're actually closer to the mark than you think with "stare at the problem for 30 min, hoping for clarity to come", although what I recommend is more focused and deliberate than that. Qualitative and subjective work is, by nature, hard to definitely be done, because it's not a question of getting the answer correct. With a paper you write, the ...


5

If you are not afraid of spending some time on learning you should try org-mode. Org mode is for keeping notes, maintaining TODO lists, planning projects, and authoring documents with a fast and effective plain-text system. It allow stuff like: it is GPL it is fully text file based, so really easy to sync with dropbox/git/your choice free-form file ...


4

All are viable strategy. There is a methodology called Getting Things Done (GTD). One thing in it is to list what you can do with different pieces of time in different contexts. This lets you choose the most appropriate thing to do. If you are waiting for a programming process to finish, you probably have a good idea of how much time if you have. So pick a ...


4

Personally, I think you are better off learning something by trying to solve a problem. Have a project in mind, even if it is a made up project, and learn everything you need to solve that problem. Rinse and repeat, choosing a different type of problem each time. There are disadvantages of this method. For example, you may miss out on whole areas of the ...


4

I use a binder along the 43 folders concept from GTD: 31 sections for the next 31 days, 12 sections for the next months. Every piece of paper that requires action on a particular day gets put into the binder in the corresponding section (daily if less than one month out, monthly if more). Every morning, I process whatever awaits me for this day and shift ...


4

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) At the start of each day, I write a simple list with bullet circles in front of each item. I've found that 6 tasks per day is about the limit of what I can accomplish. For tasks that have a date to be done by or on, I put the date in the margin to the left of the bullet. Started tasks get one slash. Complete tasks get the ...


4

Use the principle of Dramatic Visible Results. (This is a fun way to refer to the principle of "measurable progress", which is essential to effective change management.) How it works: Decide on something you want to do. Then before starting, set a goal -- one that is measurable enough that you can know when it is complete. For some projects, it may be ...


4

What you have is a set of reminders which are not tied to any context. You will get a reminder to buy new batteries when you are at home, or a reminder to try a different reading style while you are at work. I could schedule reminders for various times ex 5pm - get groceries. But I can't be sure whether I'll actually be driving at that time. By doing ...


4

If you are not afraid of the command line I recommend that you take a look at taskwarrior (TW), although you would have to implement some of the features yourself using user defined attributes. Here is a comparison with your requirements: cloudless. TW keeps a local database and can be synced using a TW server (FLOSS, there are services like freecinc if ...


3

I have started app called todoist. It has progress bar, karma, priority, and works with chrome, outlook, gmail, and apps for kindle (using that now), ios, and Windows. I fell in love with its simplicity. I added recurring task like this "every Friday @ 9am" and worked perfect. I paid for premium version because I like it and want to see developers eat :) ...


3

If you're having trouble with motivation due to goal vagueness, consider breaking up your tasks in subtasks with goals that satisfy the S.M.A.R.T criteria. These are goals that are specific and measurable, leaving you in no doubt whether you've accomplished a goal or not.


3

Divide your tasks into the four quadrants Urgent/Not urgent and Important/Not important. Then for some time register the time spent in each task. This lets you calculate how much time you spend on each category. From there you can decide how much time you want to spend in each category. Maybe this exercise is already enough to make you ask yourself each ...


3

I always liked the good old fashion paper desk calendar. Any style will work really but I prefer the larger ones that sit on the surface of your desk showing a whole month at a time. You can quickly set firm or arbitrary task deadlines and reminders and balance your workload and meetings visually. Furthermore it is easy to reference, and it is always there ...


3

Much of personal productivity methodology seems to be based on reducing the strain on the brain of deciding what to do. No, it isn't. Methodologies you refer to are about making decisions once and at a right time, instead of dragging them along, and about externalizing memory (since our brain seems to be more fit for recognition rather than ...


3

I think storing the complete list of tasks outside of the brain is part of many time-management systems, including GTD you've mentioned. I don't remember GTD advocating detailed and rigid planning though - I think it is more about easily finding the next actionable item. For the methods of prioritizing the tasks for your day/session you could check Mark ...


2

When you have only a vague notion of what you want to accomplish, it's helpful to stand back and visualize. You need to clarify exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Clarify what you want to accomplish When visualizing ask yourself these questions. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you looking at? How far off in the future are you ...


2

There is no silver bullet that will solve your current solution, but there are ways to improve your situation over time: Reduce the sense of urgency in your life By spending more time in the Quadrant II, you will slowly reduce the number of urgent but not important (or non-goal) tasks. You will always have maintenance tasks, but they should be kept to the ...


2

Firstly I would lose the "important" label. If its not that important then you probably shouldn't be doing it at all. I can appreciate that Covey's Quadrant was an important milestone in determining priorities but David Allen's Areas of Focus and Horizons of Focus are a more useful paradigm to determine the priority of a task at any given moment. In this ...


2

Consider what you're able to accomplish safely while pushing the stroller. You might be able to take a phone call or listen to something technical. Perhaps you could get a baby carrier (like a BabyBjorn) and wear the kid. That way you'd have both hands free and wouldn't have to worry so much about running the stroller into things. I'd recommend slowing down ...


2

I read this from a book (Cal Newport - Straight A student) Write your commitments in a book and if you do not do them when you are supposed to, you need to give a reason why you haven't done it. If it is a good reason, you can rationalize it, but if not you will have to face yourself with writing down a lame reason. Might help kick you into action. ...


2

This really depends on the types of goals you're setting. For short term, simple goals I just add them to an electronic to-do list that I have got into the habit of checking every time I get back from work and at weekends. I also have a list of repeat tasks - things like taking the rubbish out on sunday night, cleaning out the fridge, organising the bills. ...


2

Get counseling if possible or at least someone to talk to. Having someone to bounce of your thought IMO helps a lot with questioning unreasonable thoughts you might have. Seeing a professional counselor will also mean that you get access to medication which might help you. At times I was in a situation similar to yours (although not that severe), these are ...


2

I apply the following advice to myself and it's working: Always have time for the 'nothing box' e.g. time where you do absolutely nothing. Technically speaking you unwind and rgroup Learn to set better targets by analyzing data. It's normal to over or under estimate one's ability to meet targets. Timely progress reviews gives one insight whether we are ...


2

IMDO it's not the toolset but the mental approach that works. The GTD Book and Audio Tapes really help with this; there's not real substitute for reviewing them every year or so. Concepts such as the weekly review, and breaking tasks down to 'pushing widgets' are the only things that really work. I've been through every type of todo management app out ...


2

I have upvoted Stephan's answer as it broadly matches my process, however mine is a little streamlined so I thought I'd add another answer: I have the 12 sections for the months ahead, but I don't go to the level of a page per day. Instead, I have pages for Immediate, Week Ahead and Rest of Month. To manage this I have 2 reviews per week - the key one ...


2

I keep encountering this question on different forums, and to me it's often the wrong question. I have the tendency to think this way as well: "What tools should I be using so I can be super super organised?" But in reality, it's often the discipline, not the tools, that needs to be addressed. The most genuinely organised person I've ever known was a ...


2

Yes, you are micromanaging at the runway levels because there is some work at the higher levels of perspective that you have not been doing on a periodic basis. The difference between your two approaches is the level of commitment you explicitly devote toward learning French relative to other areas of focus in your life. You are cycling between two extremes. ...


2

My strategy: Never set a goal you don't mean to achieve. If you think you can run 5k in 25 min in 2 months, don't aim for 24 min just to be ambitious, aim for 25 and let anything more be an overachievement. I do this to avoid dreaming, which is always a hazard when setting goals. Always set concrete goals, even if the intention isn't very concrete. If you ...



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