I’m a big fan of David Allen and his strategy for Getting Things Done. Of all the time management methods (and I’ve looked at and used many) I find his the most intuitive and most effective for managing and moving projects forward.
We all have stuff that we’re supposed to do all over the place. Some is on our desk, some is on the kitchen counter at home and some well, we just don’t know where that stuff is, but we know it’s important to do.
The gist of using the Getting Things Done System is to first start with project folders for what we want to do, putting the activities that need to be done in those and then finally putting your activities in context. By context I mean what sort of activity and where might they be done.
Here are some reasons I think using a personal management system makes sense:
You have peace of mind. The biggest reason I like my personal management system is that I don’t have to remember what I’m supposed to do. I write down what I’m supposed to do, catalogue it by which project area it fits into and find a context that activity needs to be accomplished within. This allows me to forget about who, what, when and where.
Projects and activities get done. Using a personal management system allows you to be more efficient at getting things done. Spending five or ten minutes in the morning and an hour over the weekend allows me to think about and make sure the important, but not urgent activities get planned.
We all have no problem with the important but urgent activities. Those are the things that we need to do or we’re in big trouble. If we don’t plan for the important, but not urgent things (the activities that add the greatest amount of value) we can get caught in the weeds and start to become burned out.
Your day becomes your day. Too often we feel that other things control our time. When this happens to me, I’ll feel out of control and often frustrated. One of the things that helps with my own personal happiness is having my day be my day. Sure, I have activities, phone calls and appointments that have to happen, but when I plan properly; things I have to do, fit in well with things I want to do.
At the end of the day it really is about what makes you happy. For me, having activities and plans in place help with this a great deal. What about you, what are some of the things that make you happy?
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