There are a million different schemesout there on how to get things done. Books, gurus, podcasters, bloggers, vloggers, app makers and what-not telling you to use their strategy and buy their books to get things done. Some of them are quite good, some not so good. I’ve tried a few schemes and apps and what I’ve learned is that, although some apps and schemes are worth looking into, most have too many features and overhead to be really useful.
In my experience, simplicity is king. The more fields an activity in an app has the less useful it tends to be. The more actions you need to take to get the getting-things-done strategy correctly set up and maintained, the less useful it is. If there’s too much work using a tool, you won’t use that tool. It’s that simple.
- If you really want to get more things done, take out a pencil and three pieces of paper.
- On the first paper, write down all the things you can think of that you need to do. Now and in the near or far future. Do this once a month.
- Take out another piece of paper and pull out all the items from the first list that needs to be done in a week or so. Cross out all the items that go on the second piece of paper. Do this at the start of every week. Monday morning before work is a perfect time.
- Every morning, go through the second list and pull out every item that you plan to do that day. Cross them out. Be fair to yourself, don’t add too much to that list. The goal is to finish every item on the list. At the end of the day, the items not done goes back to the second list.
I call these list the Big Pictures, the Small Picture and the Focus list. You can call them anything you’d like. The Long list, Short List and Today list, for instance.
Whatever you do, do not prioritise or set due dates, don’t order them in any particular order. Just type a description of each item so you know what they are. There is no way you can prioritise anything or determine when it needs to be done weeks, months or even years in advance so don’t even try it. You’ll go through them soon enough anyway, and decide whether it’s time to do them.
Procrastinate whenever you can. Don’t do today what you might not have to do tomorrow. Procrastination is good and a vital part of planning.
I’m writing a more detailed text on this topic, and I’ll put it here on this web site and on other places. Check back if you’re interested. It’ll be done… later.