God’s sovereign plans behind your most unproductive days

John Piper pens a good reminder for us regarding our task lists, our “systems”, and what they mean in the big picture. By all means, make your list of to-dos for the day. By all means, get as good at that as you can get. Prioritize the list. Get first things first. Make your plan. Do the very best you can. Go ahead and read a book about it. Then walk in the peace and freedom that, when it shatters on the rocks of reality, which it will most days, remember, you’re not being measured by God by how…

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CJ thinks I’m wrong

CJ Chilvers posted a short blurb in response to a recent article I wrote for The Sweet Setup, Getting More From Your Calendar. His main point is that I suffer from a common misconception about scheduling: I hear this sentiment a lot, but I think this is the wrong way to approach scheduling (and, sorry David Sparks, I just hate the term hyper-scheduling). If your week is full of work blocks in your calendar, then it’s up to you to add blocks for play. In fact, if I don’t schedule fun things in my life, they never happen.…

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Build the life you want with a hybrid system

Cheesy title, yes. But it describes how I’ve developed my use of various digital and analog tools over the past several years to live in a way that fits my beliefs and brings satisfaction. Is there room to improve? Of course — there’s always room to improve. But my combination of habits and tools is feeling settled and peaceful. And as many people seem interested in these topics, I wanted to share my overall system. Why paper and digital tools?Simple. Both have advantages. Digital tools are backed up, available on all your devices, and easily searchable. Paper tools…

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How to recover when things get overwhelming

There comes a time when your tasks and responsibilities will get out of hand. Despite your best efforts and disciplined approach, you suddenly find yourself with overflowing inboxes, tasks and notes scribbled out on paper, and a sense that you're not in control. Something will be missed or forgotten. This happens to all of us. And this is when people feel their “system” is broken and they jump ship. This can come in the form of reverting to old habits and ways of doing things. Or you start looking for a new tool, system, or framework for managing your life.…

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BuJoPro: thoughts on adapting bullet journal to a hyper-connected world

Ha, talk about my worlds colliding. Cal Newport covers the Bullet Journal system (aka BuJo) and suggests how it could be improved to better meet the demands of the modern day knowledge worker. I thought it interesting that all his suggestions fit my own current usage: I use weekly plans for my notebook, not the monthly log that BuJo suggestsMy days are outlined in my calendar … not every hour of the day is there, but the major items get slotted inHe suggests keeping a deep work tally, which is exactly what I do with my monthly habit tracker for the…

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An inbox for your time

CJ Chilvers has been a very consistent advocate for giving your calendar a greater priority than your to-do list. Or, rather, for making your calendar be your to-do list. He talked this week about an issue that blocks people from making this type of change: How do you track all the actionable stuff in your life that you can't schedule?His solution is to put everything into an inbox. Everything that is important enough gets on your calendar. The rest just needs to be processed regularly (and part of the process might be ditching ideas or tasks that just aren’…

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