I talk about staying focused often. Over the past few years, it’s continued to be one of my goals – to master focus and time management.
It’s a work in progress.
So far, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having some success in keeping up with my activities – especially those personal ones that get deferred for work stuff.
The following is what I’ve been doing.
1. Having my wife check in on me.
I mentioned this recently when I was having a tough time overcoming the hurdle of just getting started. One we chose one activity and one deliverable over a half-hour period, things began to move along.
2. Choosing the top one or two things to get done in a day.
While I’ve known this for a while, I’ve only now started doing it. Choose only one or two things that you will do that day. You can have more things to do, but you do those one or two top things first. If you have time to get to do other things.
3. Dump my mind of everything that I need to do every evening.
I got this from David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. I would take time in the evening to list all my tasks and put them into Todoist. I also ensure that any task that comes up during the day also goes in there. While I don’t follow GTD (not for the lack of trying), the idea of dumping everything from your mind and sorting through at specific times has worked out well. I’ll probably implement other bits as time progresses.
4. Dump, delegate, defer or do.
As part of GTD, I’ve always known the process as Do, Delegate, Defer or Dump, but I was wrong. It’s actually Dump, Do, Delegate or Defer. However, I listened to the audiobook of “Start Now, Get Perfect Later” by Rob Moore, and he turned it around to Dump, Delegate, Defer or Do; keep the doing as the last thing. It takes getting used to, but I’m trying.
5. Live in my calendar.
I use Todoist premium to manage my tasks. I’ve been using them for a long time as I’ve never found anyone better. I use the premium edition, not only to support a great application but for the 2-Way calendar sync to Google Calendar. In my calendar, I see what I have planned for the day and see the slots that I can put tasks to get done. I simply drag tasks into the free slots. Plus I can tell whether I can get everything I want to get done, and choose to dump, delegate, defer or do.
6. Building my habits.
I’ve been reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and trying to develop my healthy habits while trying to avoid the unhealthy ones. Still a work in progress. I’ve been playing with Habitica to help with this, and while I was doubtful at first of its gamified approach, I’ve found that I’ve grown to like it. I’ve also been able to link it with Todoist, so those one or two top tasks get added automatically to Habitica when I add them to my top tasks project.
Now to be truthful, some of these things I’ve done before but was never able to keep up the habit. I’m hoping that Habitica is the game-changer here.
Off to earn some points now.