Getting things done

A new year, a new set of tasks. One of the things I want to really try out properly this year is an organised workflow method. In the past I have tried and had sow success with following the getting things done methodology. I have tried using a number of apps with various types of sync options across all my gadgets with varying degree of success. In the end, I settled with a program called Things which provided enough functionality as I required coupled with a very nice user interface across all my gadgets.

However, after a while, my use of this rather efficient workflow became less and less and I could not quite understand why. After having a proper think on the matter over the holidays I think the reason for this was my implementation of the workflow. Instead of using task management to achieve goals, I used task management much like a shopping checklist. Everyday I would put all the tasks that I have to get done and just list them one after the other in my apps without any type of organisation.

While this did the job of reminding me of what needs to be done very well; it took away the holistic view of how that task fit into the big picture. As I lost sight of how completing these tasks was making a difference (or not) I also lost the motivation of using such a task management system.

I want to change this. I think what needs to be done is to divide all the things I want/need to do in a series of small projects and have these tasks attached to a particular project with an end date attached to them. This solves both the issues of giving me the big picture of how completing tasks is helping my ‘projects’ and also how I prioritise these plethora of tasks. I think the best way of doing this is to first have a mind map to identify chunks of mini projects under which the related tasks can be bundled. And this map is then reviewed periodically to take out completed projects and add new ones. This, I am hoping, should give me an efficient workflow which is also sustainable as it keeps things organised and also keeps me aware of the big picture.

So now the thing to do is to design this concept workflow to suit me. Maybe in a couple of posts I can post how the new workflow is holding up. In the meantime, please leave a comment on what you think of my workflow idea and your thoughts on how you would improve it.

Happy new year to you all again.

One Reply to “Getting things done”

  1. Last year in Sweden I saw a new culture. One of the most fascinating things about them is their organisation ability. From a third person’s view it seems they are just chilling and relaxing but being in that culture for a year made me realise what’s actually going on in the inside.

    Their culture and the way of working is actually a very refined process. The reason they have so much free time owes to their workflow methods. This book below; I have read it back to back; learnt a millions things. I truly believe this will give you a very good understanding how to get things done and how to relate, even the unrelated tasks, and how it all converges towards the big picture in the end!

    http://www.bookplus.fi/kirjat/tonnquist,_bo/project_management_-_student_learning_guide-8371985

    Enjoy the read. If you want a hard copy I have one at my office desk.

    PS: Bo Tonnquist is not paying me in any kind to advertise his book.

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