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9

I use a constellation of apps as my system, email, calendar and to do apps. There are a couple of practices that keep these systems from going stale. Set up some back burner categories These usually go by the name of @somedayMaybe, @waitingFor, @moviesToSee, @thingsToDoWhenInTheCity, etc. You will only review these lists when you are in the mindset of ...


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

At the end of the day, you can't force people to do what you need them to do, but there are ways you can encourage people to do so: Some ideas: Set clear expectations. One of the reason people procrastinate is that they aren't quite clear on what they're supposed to be doing or by when. For example, when your doctor promises to send your certificate, ask ...


7

Kramii's answer has a lot of good ideas for ways to manage the dependencies on other people, and improve your relationships with them so they're more likely to do what you need. The step I don't see there is one I find essential, keeping a "Waiting For" list. That's a list of all the things I'm waiting for other people to do. Most of the items on the list ...


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 ...


7

It sounds like you need to trick yourself into being accountable. Possible ways: Find a "buddy" to keep each other on track. (People often suggest this for exercise.) Commit to posting an update on your progress weekly on Twitter or Facebook. That way, you will feel like someone will know if you didn't do it. Ask someone to remind you. I've actually ...


6

Personally I'm using trello for my own tasklist. Boards - group of interest (Generic TODO, Books to Read, Articles to read, etc.) Tasks (or object in your case) - simple but feature rich entities. You can add checklist, comment, description, etc. You can use trello at desktop and mobile. Mobile app works even in offline but has degraded functionality.


4

I think the appealing aspect of Call of Duty and other multi-player games is the real-time competition with other players. When I was a university student and there were topics I didn't like too much, I found studying in group, with people better than me at a certain subject, very performing. This has always encouraged me to study more in detail and not ...


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 ...


3

I don't know if it's what you are looking for, but Droptask is very different from any of the tools I've seen. It has circles for projects and you make additional circles within each project for tasks that are to be done.


3

My method for organizing my days is mostly based on lists and consistent behavior. I have a number of "to-do" lists (Personal, Work, Grocery, etc.) - as an example, below is my list for tomorrow. You will notice I don't try to plan for every minute of my day, that's because (as you mentioned) you get unexpected calls from colleagues needing something. If ...


3

I'm not aware of any such software that already exists. You did not tell what operating system(s) you are using. There are several options that come to my mind for building such a structure yourself: Microsoft Visio or similar software I think, you could build such thing yourself e. g. with Microsoft VISIO or a similar software (there might be free ...


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

I don't want to constantly call people verifying that they're doing their jobs. You have to determine what is going to disrupt your life more: the other person not doing their part or your making a phone call? Sometimes you do have to settle for the lesser evil. The key is providing consequences. Provide the service I expect and I will in return be a ...


3

From personal experience, the acquisition of a second stapler has proven to be a boon to my business. I am a freelancer, and one of the ways I keep track of expenses is to staple project receipts to the final invoice I send to my client. This allows me to track and verify payment for reimburseable expenses, and calculate profitability based on how many ...


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 ...


2

Since you are open to non-software approaches I'll tell you what I do. But since what I do is a personalized version of the old Franklin Day Planner system (that I have implemented in a spreadsheet rather than their planner book) I just checked the Franklin site to see what they have. They do have a software options and from the video I don't see this being ...


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

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 ...


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

I keep a small notebook and pen in my pocket, and write things there for later. I'm a GTD user, with intermittent Pomodoro within that when I need finer control. In GTD terms, you're asking about "Capture", how to get ideas and thoughts into your system for future processing. I've tried a number of different approaches, from various electronic tools ...


2

As the answer is individual, do this: In the beginning of the day, or the night before, select a number of daily tasks you think is good for you. Write down as many tasks as you've decided. Go ahead and dedicate your day to achieving these goals. In the end of the day, review how happy are you with your productivity and how many/much of the tasks you've ...


2

TL;DR: Don't use Evernote as a to-do tool. I find Evernote to be a great place for reference material, but not for actual to-do lists that frequently change. For that, I use a mix of two other tools instead: workflowy.com is the most fantastic outliner I've ever seen. It's minimalistic in appearance but packs the perfect amount of functionality in a very ...


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

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. ...


1

I had this exact same problem, and solved it by entering every task into Google Calendar...not as a TASK, but as an appointment. This keeps me on task, but as priorities change, I can easily move appointments between days as needed. It becomes an agile calendar. Beause of the layout of google cal, Saturday becomes my "backlog". I just dump stuff there if I ...



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