A couple of months ago, I spent some time reading part of the classic, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Now, I’m no stranger to organizing and planning and accomplishing things, and reading books about organization is not for the faint of heart. (I haven’t even finished the book yet, because I wanted to chew on some of the concepts, as well as attempt a few modifications, before reading further. Plus, fiction is more fun to read on my lunch hour.)
On of the themes that jumped off the page at me was the notion of having a way to stop “trying to remember” details and instead, have a trusted system where you record the information.
I have several ways I record information. I use Evernote for “larger project” or events, especially if I’m collating information from different sources. I can easily copy/paste if I’m on a computer, or add things on the fly from my phone. I use Google Keep if it’s a short shopping list or maybe just one item I need to be able to quickly copy/paste somewhere else.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make a “Daily Process Flow” list of “all the things I should be checking regularly online” whether that’s actually daily or weekly. Sometimes I get so caught up in whatever the shiny task of the moment is or the latest deadline, that I forget all the OTHER regular tasks I wanted to keep up on. Today was the first time I got past the “things I’ve been doing regularly” and started reading the bottom of the list with the “semi-regular” tasks.
It’s amazing how much easier it is to get to the semi-regular tasks, when I stay up on the daily and frequent tasks. It means when I think to write a blog post, it’s easy to fit that into my morning. Or when I want to schedule time to edit a photo album, I get it done.
The other trick is that I log small reminders on my Google calendar, so that a notification will pop-up on my phone. I hate to swipe away a reminder for a task that I want to complete, and I hate to leave a notification on my phone. Notifications really do make me want to mark them as “Done.” I used to casually say in email or messages, “I’ll do that when I get home.” And invariably, I would forget. Now, I log the reminder on my phone with a day and time for the notification or alarm to go off. And maybe 50-75% of the time I can actually accomplish the task at the time. The other 25-50% of the time, I just reschedule the reminder for a better time.
I’m loving feeling ahead for a change. What a relief.