To-do lists are not the answer to getting things done

I’ve resisted the idea that tasks should be added to your calendar. Something of a purist in me rejects the idea, but it may be that I’m coming around. Shane Parrish makes the case for the practice. He starts with bravado: SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DON’T MAKE TO-DO LISTS.His solution: The real value in life comes from saying no. To help you say no you need some friction. The solution to the to-do list problem is actually pretty simple. You have to make one change: schedule it.Anything you want to do, put it in your calendar. I’…

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Slipping through the cracks

There has been a gap in how I manage my work for a long time. It's a little thing and is no bother most of the time. But when things get crazy, or if I'm not careful, some important task falls through the cracks of my system. I'm referring to the follow up email. This is a straight forward concept. I have a task or project that is my responsibility, but depends on others to do some work. I email them, asking for information or for work to be done. Down the road, I will need to check up on…

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Paper, or not

Adam King recently wrote a great post on his paper based “stay-on-top” set up, titled The Daily Rind. It's the kind of post I've always enjoyed ever since this topic started to replace actual real work. I say that with tongue in cheek, and I'm laughing at myself, not Adam. I always enjoy getting a look at how the people I admire process things and complete their work. The difference for me now is that I quickly recognize the pull to adapt my own habits because their's seem a lot coolor in the flush of caffeine-fueled excitement. Call it what…

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Beyond OmniFocus: you

If you're an OmniFocus user, you need to give two posts from J. Eddie Smith IV a read. He's sharing his setup and usage of the application, but the real essence of his message is that OmniFocus is just a tool. And like any tool, it's usage is only as good as the execution of the one yielding the tool. I know that OmniFocus has a lot of power that I'm not using. But that's okay because I've (finally) reached a place in my life where I'm more concerned with doing the work instead of whether the work is organized…

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GTD - the backlash or: what does it take to actually get better

Man, Merlin stole my thunder. Not that there's a lot of thunder emanating from here, but I feel like somebody tapped into my brain and wrote out a lot of my thoughts. Except better. I spent a lot of time thinking things through this past weekend, focusing once again on simplicity and how to improve my life, while also improving the lives of others. For several weeks I've had a half written post based on the negativity I've seen lately towards GTD, just sitting on my laptop, waiting for the ideas to become fully fleshed. Last week, the idea got…

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Custom log file, revisited

After my log file post last week, I had a few people approach me with questions or good suggestions. So I've made a few updates and thought I would share them once again. FormattingReader Patrick Mosby sent me an email in which he asked this: I just read your article "Track Yourself With a Custom Log File" and wondered how you get the formatting of the entries like you showed in your screenshot. Are you typing this everytime by hand or do you also have some kind of automation? I tried to use TextExpander to expand "ttime" to the current…

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