Have you ever felt that you have more things to do than you can embrace? Do not worry, nothing weird is happening to you. It is a fairly common feeling, although in some people goes to incredible extremes. Organizing is not easy, but there are methodologies that can help you to have everything under control and to improve your productivity. In this post we´ll try to give you some guidelines.
The time we have is finite, however, the things to do are endless. Here is the key to our problem. When we get carried away by the endless list of pending tasks, the most common is that we lose control. It is then when you lose focus on what is important and your instinct for survival comes into play. In a nutshell, you do it just when the problem blows up in your face.
Your productivity system takes on a life of its own. Decision making is beyond your reach. At this time when saturation is reaching the limit, it is the list of tasks that makes your agenda. Priority? Importance? What you have in mind no longer makes sense.
How can we avoid reaching this situation?
We have already raised the problem. Now comes the difficult matter. How to manage to deal with our pending tasks without losing control.
The objective that we have to fix in our focus is not to empty your inbox. The objective that we must consider is to be free when deciding. It’s about going ahead, so as not to fall into the same mistake again and again. Only then we will be proactive. At the moment when external factors decide for us, we will lose the ability to act again.
To deal with the problem and achieve the goal we have set, there is the GTD methodology, acronym for Getting Things Done. This methodology of productivity is based on these five principles:
Confidence: believe in yourself and your possibilities.
Action: we can not make ideas or things. We can only do actions.
Context: the priorities are dynamic and change depending on the situation you are in. The key is the context.
Entropy: everything tends to mess. You will need energy to do a periodic review. Keeping the focus on the tasks you have to do, will help you maintain order.
Relevance: being productive does not mean doing many things per unit of time. Any action that we have written down must be important within our objectives.
The GTD proposes four steps that you should always keep in mind to improve your productivity:
Capture: to begin, empty your mind. Collect ALL that worries you. As soon as possible. Wherever you are. Using the minimum number of tools.
Process: The next step is to process everything captured in the previous phase to turn it into actions. It is important to have a good filing system that allows you to locate all things without delay.
Act: can I do it in less than two minutes? Then, do it now!
Can not I get on with it immediately? Then pause a second to analyze the problem: perhaps that task is not yours, or perhaps there is a more suitable person to execute it. Acting correctly means sometimes knowing how to DELEGATE and take control of those tasks that you have distributed.
Check: consult the calendar of the previous week, the following or the list of actions ordered according to the context, will allow you to keep a vision of your agenda and the evolution of your tasks.
External factors that block your progression and productivity: interruptions
We reached an interesting point. Because no matter how well we organize ourselves, there are external factors beyond our control.
I give you as an example the video “Why you can not work at work?”
I do not know what the work environment is in your office, company or in your home, but what happens to us in Mobivery is that we interrupt ourselves: calls from other offices, iChat, answer the mail, whatsapp, etc.
To avoid these distractions, it is highly recommended to establish a communication protocol, in order to prioritize each situation and, of course, to demand compliance as far as possible.
Is it urgent? Use asynchronous tools: ichat, whatsapp, sms … or you get up and ask him, if he is in the same office. Can you wait 24 hours? Then I send you an email.
Applications and recommended readings on productivity
And finally, here we leave a series of tools and books that will come in handy to start organizing your tasks and improve your productivity.
List of recommended apps:
List of recommended readings:
Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
The 7 habits of highly effective people
Stephen R. Covey
Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigation Life
Jim Benson, Torianne Demaria Barry
The 4-hour Work Week. Escape the 9-5 live anywhere and join the new rich