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The book 'Gettings Things Done' by David Allen contains a method
for organizing your business & personal life. You can get a look at the
book at Amazon. It is commonly known and used throughout a lot of businesses to increase productivity.
'Getting Things Done' isn't really magic; it just takes a hierarchical
view of what you're doing (both personal & at the office) and lets you record
it so you can clear your head and rely on a number of checklists to avoid forgetting
what you're supposed to do.
In contrast to what Stephen Covey's methods though, which were
rigid in that you had to plan things tightly in advance, these modern times
ask for more flexibility, and David Allen's does just that. It focuses less
on agenda planning and lets you move time around flexibly.
Organiser fits this paradigm quite perfectly. Try to follow
the reasoning below:
- All things you need to do should be stored in Organiser.
Small things that you can do in under 2 minutes should be done immediately,
so you don't fill too much into a checklist.
- Try to avoid having multiple lists, for example, lists on
paper, other files (Word for example). Keeping a centralized location to store
the things you need to do allows you to trust that list. The target is to
keep your mind clear so you don't wander of still thinking of all the several
checklists you might have. Use one.
- On incoming tasks, decide whether to trash the task immediately
(don't enter/store) or to archive it. For mail, just archive in your email
client. For tasks, archiving often doesn't really make much sense, so you
can also decide to delete processed tasks.
- Create projects, then subprojects, subdiving your taskload
into actions. You can see 'Projects' as administrative splitters, while you
can name Subprojects to represent goals. For example: for a project where
you want to build a bike, you might create a folder (project) 'Bike', then
under that, create a folder (goal) 'Find wheels' that contains the actions
'Check friends for any spare wheels'.
- For planned actions, use the 'Task' item in Organiser. For
chores where you don't really want to set a date, adding 'Todo' items are
good enough. Organiser will highlight the tasks that are current.
- Delegate tasks if needed; Organiser contains 'Contact' items,
so you can assign 'Tasks' to persons other than yourself.
- When a task is done, click the checkbox in front of the task/todo
to mark it as completed.
- Tasks that you may want to do, but that are currently not
really important, can be stored in a 'Someday' folder. Store the active projects
in a folder called 'Active'.
- Every week, check all the items in the list. Delete or check
all items that are done or obsolete, to keep your database of things-to-do
clean. This is important to avoid clutter and possible ignoring items due
to the sheer size.
- Every week, or perhaps somewhat less, check outside the 'Active'
folder. For example, the 'Someday' folder may contain inspirational ideas
that become more urgent or just become a possibility.
To setup this method in Organiser, follow these steps:
- Create a new document.
- Add an 'Active' folder.
- Select the top ('All folders') folder and add a 'Someday' folder.
- Add a 'List of Projects' folder to the top. Enter a small
list of projects here that are currently running, so you have a short overview
of all the projects that are currently running. Use 'Todo' items for example,
or 'Fact' items to store the descriptions of the projects.
- Optionally also add a 'Contacts' folder to the top.
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