Where to begin
In this 3-part series, I’m going to share my most effective task management* tips so you can get more done in less time.
Keep in mind that all of these practices assume you know your most important vision, decided on a strategy, and set measurable goals.
*This is the thing you probably call “time management.” We don’t control time. We can, however, choose what we do within (the illusion of?) time. So upgrade your language, and notice how much more powerful you feel.
Why does this matter?
Ever let a project fall off your radar? Of course you have!
Gee, I was going to write/work out/start a company, but it just didn’t happen.
You mean you didn’t make it happen, right?
This quick and simple technique solves that problem. You’ll never again forget about a project, or that “crazy” idea you had one time.
Second, and imo more importantly, you’re going to literally create space for more creative thinking. Which means better results on whatever projects you choose to pursue.
You’re better than this
Our thoughts are so damn repetitive.
I need to feed the dog as soon as I get back from the gym.
I need to feed the dog when I get home.
As soon as I get home, I’m going to remember to feed the dog…
Sound familiar? What a waste of your highly advanced analytical power!
Write it all down
The key is to write it down as soon as you can. This gets it out of your head.
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”David Allen, productivity consultant, author
Have a system for recording 3 things: ideas, projects, and tasks.
Keep a list of ideas that you aren’t working on atm.
Keep a list of active projects. Mine include “Program Upgrade!” and “Write Memoir.”
Capture your tasks, which includes your daily success list and any tasks you want to remember for later. When you’re creating task lists, review your project list as a reminder to record the next action for each important project.
(Side note. Unlike my beloved Martha Beck, I am SO not a fan of detailing out every single task required to achieve a project. Just a few easy next steps works for me!)
For this to work—for your mind to trust that you’ll look at that note later—you have to have a trusted system.
So you’ve written it all down. Now, decide how often and when you’ll look at these lists.
You want to free up mental capacity. The thing is, your brain is smart enough to hold onto your thoughts if you’re putting them in your Notes app where you might see them again 8 months from now.
So decide how often you want to review (read and update) each list, and schedule it in your calendar.
Get even more done
So, write down your ideas, projects, and tasks. Look at it on the regular. Keep them updated.
You’ll not only remember to move forward on your most important work, but you’ll have more creative brain power, which dramatically ups the quality of work you’ll produce!
Read the next article in this series about the habit that’s costing you hours a day.