Pretty good summary of the Getting Things Done method:
- Get things out of your head into your inbox! Then process your inbox into projects and process every project into actionable items. I’ve done this for 8 months now and it works very well!
- Focus on one thing. Focus on the next action, i.e. the next actionable step towards completion of your project (e.g. getting the vacuum cleaner out of the closet comes before vacuum cleaning!)
- Organize your actionable items by context. This is a very important. There are things that you can only do in a certain context. Be it at home, at the office, online, offline, at the grocery store, at amazon.com, at the train station etc. E.g. I have a list in my Treo with items for my next grocery store purchase. Every time something in the fridge is missing I put it into my Treo. Then when I go to the grocery store I have a perfect tobuy list that is going to fill for sure my fridge and freezer. Same thing with amazon.com.
- Start your work-day with a important task (not email). I don’t do that yet, but I only spend 5–10 min on my email, because I only process my inbox to zero and come back later for my important @action emails.
- Practice discipline and balance. For me thats 1–2 sports trainings per week.
- Fight procrastination. Always reflect on yourself. Be aware of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I you find yourself procrastinating, review the phrasing of your actionable items for the project and check if they are really actionable. E.g. since June 22 I’m fighting with vacuum cleaning. The paper only says “vacuum cleaning”, but it really should say “get vacuum cleaner of of the closet” ;-).
- Avoid interruptions. Turn off your Skype, IM and maybe even Cell when doing important tasks. Interruptions are a killer. I’m almost never online on Skype or IM. I hate those things since many years! ;-)