Getting Things Done: the basics - Deepstash

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Getting Things Done: the basics

  • Capture. Write down everything you need to do.
  • Clarify. Break down each task into an actionable next step. 
  • Organize. Move each of those actionable tasks onto a specific list: E.g: Action: Things to do next, Waiting For: Tasks or projects you’ve delegated or are waiting on other people for, etc.
  • Reflect. Set time aside to re-assess your priorities and update your lists weekly or daily.
  • Engage. Start working through your Action list in order.

The hard thing about small tasks

We're pretty bad at estimating how much time a task will take, even if we’ve done that task before.

When you’re trying to implement the 2-minute rule, you might find yourself spending hours on that “easy” email you wanted to write.

James Clear
“Once you’ve started doing the right thing, it is much easier to continue doing it.”

JAMES CLEAR

Fixing small tasks

  • Fixing things is empowering. Our confidence increases or decreases based on our ability to make progress. 
  • Any progress builds momentum (and your mood): No matter how small the task is, crossing it off your to-do list gives you a boost of momentum and enhances your mood.
  • Small steps turn into habits: When a task is easy to do and quickly completed, it’s much easier to turn it into a habit.

The 2-minute rule

The 2-minute rule

If a task takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.

If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.

For more mental space and focus

  • Answer the “why” and “what” for each of your regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Set office hours for interruptions, emails, and conversations.
  • Clean up your desk (and your desktop).

Jonathan White
“The more you look into the most productive people, the more you realize they don’t just work hard, but they start off by optimizing the small things they do every single day.”

JONATHAN WHITE

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