Saturday, February 18, 2006

Stress free productivity

As David Allen describes in Getting Things Done, like most people I feel frustrated and bogged down by the great number of things that are on my mind. While working on an important project, the mind keeps reminding that your investment decisions are overdue, there is an important social event to attend, you need to make that important decision and so on.

The book makes for interesting reading, but I have summarize the tricks in a short algorithm that would be easier to remember.

  • Make a list of the projects you currently have. Everything that requires two or more actionable items should be considered a project. Highlight the very next physical action required to move the project forward.
  • Normally, you would have 50 to 100 projects. Divide the projects into several categories and group these into areas of responsibilities like Finance, Health etc. This way you can also track the time spent on various areas.
  • Make folders for each of the projects that contains reference material and other documents regarding the project.
  • Mark all your incoming stuff, ideas, things to do into following folders.

a) Trash - No action required and not needed in future

b) Reference - No action required but may be needed as reference

c) Someday - No action required recently but in distant future

d) Followup - Action to be taken by someone else

e) Calendar - Scheduled at a particular time

f) Projects - Is a next action on some project

  • Your calendar should be sacred and should contain only those items that must absolutely be done on that date or you do not need to do it at all. Moving tasks in the calendar to another day should not be done as far as possible.
  • Start your day by looking at your calendar and tackle the items. When you find free time between the items on your calendar, look at your projects list and select a next action depending on the time you have available.
  • Do a weekly review of your projects and next actions. Spend some time on the maintenance of your system.
You can buy this Outlook plugin which helps implementing the methods.


Post a Comment

<< Home