April 6th, 2013 By: Ash
You know the feeling when you’re confronted by a mountain of tasks that paralyses you?
You just look at all the stuff you’ve got to get done and you go limp.
Your shoulders slump. Your heart sinks.
It feels like a pointless battle.
You think to yourself: “Why bother working through this crap load of email when I know there’s going to be a ton more by the time I’m done actioning these?”
Fact : We live in a hyper connected world.
A world which isn’t very forgiving of unread emails in inboxes.
Some folks try to use email as a CYA (cover your ass) strategy, while others just shamelessly forward stuff to others trying tho shift responsibility. (Not a very professional approach but a popular one nevertheless)
What happens when you’re done prioritising and you’re still faced with a daunting list?
David Allen wrote a book called Getting Things Done which outlines a devastatingly simple approach to productivity at least in terms of it’s underlying principles. Some of the details can get quite involved – and in my opinion unnecessarily so.
For this reason, I’ve kept this post on GTD quite simple and high level.
Anyway, here’s my take on GTD in it’s simplest form:
1) As you go through your day record each task on your “to do list” in an easily accessible repository e.g. you iPhone (Siri is a very useful tool) . It is important to record each and every task because getting all these tasks out of your head and onto a trusted system is a very important step in freeing up a lot of mental energy that can be re-deployed to the present moment
2) Associate each task with a project (a collection of tasks that lead to an overall outcome) and a context (a set of conditions necessary for the given task to be executed. This could be a location, device or a person e.g. Work, Home, Phone, Computer etc)
3) Filter or batch your tasks by the context to execute all the tasks from the various projects at that location/context  i.e. the tasks in the ‘work’ context will appear under work and those in the home context will appear under home. You can have an unlimited amount of contexts.
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