You have probably heard of ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen, but you don’t apply his practices.
You’re either too busy to read an entire book on productivity, or you’re stubborn and don’t want to change how you work.
Well, give us 60 seconds, and we’re confident you will want to purchase his book at the end of it.
Let’s take a look at how to get things done in 60 seconds.
Your Inbox is Your Point of Entry
You can use Callwave to direct your voicemail to your email and Jott to place random action items in your inbox.
Whether you are receiving paper mail still, or you’ve received verbal instruction from your superior, make sure that each task you’ve got planned has its own email.
Categorize Your Tasks
If you want to categorize your tasks, you can use Mac or Windows to do this, or you can also use Outlook Tasks or Outlook folders or another system that you prefer.
We don’t suggest that you use more than seven categories. If a task has a deadline, include them in your Calendar and set your deadlines in the Outlook Tasks section.
You can also try using ‘Personal’ and ‘Professional’ categories too.
Empty Your Inbox Every Day
The first thing that you need to do is empty your inbox each day so that you are processing every single item in your inbox.
You can either file it into one of the categories that you’ve created, or you can complete it. Either way, never make an exception to this rule for the sake of consistency.
Label Actions with Next Step
If you are filing tasks that you want to complete later, then make sure to label the tasks in a way that is clear and obvious.
Make sure that the description of the task is clear, and make sure that you include the next step in the task so that it can jog your memory when you come to do it.
Follow the ‘Two-Minute Rule’
Every time you handle or read a task or a step that might take you less than two minutes, then try to complete it right there and then.
Don’t put it off.
Read Your Tasks, Every Day
Once you have emptied your inbox, go through each of your task category folders, and read what you’ve got in there.
While you are doing this, you will be able to remove items that have been completed, or that are no longer valid, and you can also edit items if you have updated information to add.
Create a ‘today’ List or Folder
This part doesn’t have anything to do with GTD, but it works really well for us.
We have a shortlist of things that we have to complete every day. When we go through our inbox, we make sure to add the most important items, and then include items that need to be completed that day and add them to the list.
We go through the list methodically, making sure that we keep to the rules.
The steps that we have taken you through today above are going to give you a small taste of GTD, and the best part is that it’s not going to take you more than a minute to learn it.
This is going to take those to-do items out of your head and put them into a system that you can trust so that you can start to relax. It is also going to be able to motivate you to get things done, and have a sense of satisfaction at the end of it all.
Remember, it’s tough to see just how easy concepts like this are until you apply them yourself, so we definitely suggest that you try them ASAP.