Last time here on the blog we talked about the Getting Things Done task management system. While GTD has millions of devotees all over the world it isn’t for everyone. Maybe you have given it a go and weren’t impressed. Or maybe you have tried all sorts of productivity systems, to do list apps and time management plans but haven’t found anything you really like?
There is a tendency to assume that because something worked for one person it must work for everyone. Which is why we get floods of books and articles about the productivity habits of the top entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
Of course in reality we all have our individual quirks and habits, not to mention unique circumstances. If you can’t follow anyone else’s system you don’t need to be set adrift and completely system-less. Instead you need to build your own, tailor-made to you.
How do you currently organise your day and your to dos? Do you think it could be better with a few tweaks or do you want something else entirely?
The foundation of your new task management system should be somewhere you already spend most of your time. That could be your online calendar, paper diary or planner, email inbox, to do list or note taking app even pinboard in your kitchen. Don’t reinvent the wheel and remember that the key to getting organised is to actually use it.
Once you have decided on your base of operations you can build on it. If it is electronic there will be addons, extensions and plugins that you can use. Most email programmes link to a calendar where you can add reminders, or they have a tasks function like Gmail. Online calendars can send you reminders of tasks you had scheduled, support attachments and lists, integrate with your phone and other tricks. To do list apps should have notifications, shortcuts for adding tasks from your phone home screen and so on.
If you prefer offline use then there is still plenty you can do to streamline your system. Check out different colour and shape post-it notes for different tasks and reminders. Some stationery shops sell little packs of notes, tear off lists and reminders. Colour coding can be good for a paper calendar too – either by person or by category of task. If you use a paper diary or planner check out the Bullet Journal to supercharge it.
Most of us don’t have enough hours in the day so we have to press the less convenient times into service. One of the biggest empty spaces in our lives is our commute. But you can make that time productive by using MessageMia. It’s safe and legal using the hands-free on your phone so you can record reminders, ideas, tasks and to dos. Mia saves them and sends them back to you so you never need to forget another idea while driving. Find out more now.