Monday, February 26, 2007

Back to paper

I was chatting with a friend of mine on messenger regarding a meeting that we were to attend for a society which we were both part of the committee. It was going to be held in a couple of days at her place and I asked why the event was not in the calendar that I have setup for the committee?

Thinking that we need a collaboration tool to keep each other informed of events that are coming up for the society, I had a google calendar setup and shared amongst the members of the committee. Little do I know that I will end up being the only person using the calendar.

It got me thinking that I spend quite a lot of time updating all sort of tools online that was suppose to help me organize myself and become more productive. It seems to me that all this time that I've been using to update these tools is actually taking me away from the act of actually doing the things itself. Hence, actually becoming less productive.

Recently, I have decided to go back to good old pen and paper.

Bill Westerman commented on this post of David Seah's about his method of GTD called the GSD. It's a basic to-do list which I have found to be simple and sorta effective. I am currently trying this purely for work now and haven't mixed it with personal to-dos. Bill does a transfer of his unfinished items on a daily basis, which I find to be quite bothersome after three days. After transferring an item of low priority which I will only do after I have completed all the tasks that requires more immediate attention, I've decided that I will only bring over unfinished items on a weekly basis.

What I also do is, to pop items into the current day's list as soon as it pops into my head. Whether or not that task will be done the same day is another matter. The next day, on top of starting the list with things that I've thought of to do that day, I'll pick two or three items from the previous days list to be completed today.

Come Monday morning, I'll gather all the unfinished items from the previous week and start all over again.

I believe that with this to-do list and not trying to multitask is slowly helping me become more effective. At the very least, I get a sense of what I have completed at the end of the work day and how many more check boxes there are to be completed, which feels better compared to having to wreck my brains thinking what I have or have not completed.


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