Tag Archives: ToDo Lists

Catagorzing ToDo Lists (GTD)

I’m a big fan of David Allen’s GTD, and apply much of the GTD approach to maximizing productivity, time management, and organization. I highly suggest reading both Getting Things Done and Making It All Work.

This post would make more sense if you are familiar with the ideas in these books. (I’m also a big fan of Merlin Mann’s ‘Inbox Zero‘, which is highly related to GTD).

I use Lotus Notes and a Blackberry for work, so I fit the system to those.  Works pretty well.

My To Do Categories

Agendas
Anywhere
Computer
Home
Office
Phone Calls
Errands
Projects
Waiting For
Someday/Maybe

The system is set up to categorize To Do lists in context, not by priority.  That way, when I’m in the office, I can look at the list of things I have to do while in the office; when I’m at home, I can see the things I can only do at home. The system also gives me the freedom to do things when time and energy are appropriate; it eliminates the stress caused when the next most important task is something I don’t have the energy or am not in the right place to complete.

I’ve recently added additional categories based on an estimated time to complete. I have 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 minutes, then 2, 4, and 8 hours. That way, I can quickly find things that match up with the amount of time I may have, or the amount of energy and focus I have.

At 4pm on a Friday, I’m probably busting out a couple of 15 minute phone calls, not a 4 hour analysis.

It’s working great, and coupled with keeping my inboxes empty, I’m even more productive.


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