To make sure I get stuff done I follow the productivity principles of “Zen To Done” by Leo Babauta.

There are many other more complex productivity systems out there but they really all come back to the following three concepts.


COLLECT


Always carry a small notebook, or have a note taking app on your phone, and write down all tasks, ideas, projects, or other information that pop into your head. You never know when you will get a great idea or when you will get a todo that you have to do. Get them out of your head and onto paper (or app), so you don't have to worry about remembering it. Use your precious mental RAM for more important work.


PROCESS


At least once a day go through all your “inboxes” (any place you can get a task to do from for example your notepad, note taking app, email, voicemail, CRM etc).


For each item go through and either:

  • Delete it (if you don’t need to do it)

  • Delegate it (to someone else),

  • Do it (now - if it will take less than 2 minutes (including filing it for future reference),

  • Defer it (to your one todo list)


Then set the 1 - 3 Most Important Tasks to be done next.


Split your one todo list into 2 sections: "DO 1ST" and "TODO." As you go through and process, with any task to be deferred add it under the TODO section. Then go through and move the next Most Important Tasks to DO 1ST. By splitting them out it helps you focus on the Most Important Tasks and it prevents you from being overwhelmed by everything else under TODO. You should process on a daily basis. Make each item in the list actionable. For example "Get labels from Staples" rather than "Find a way to organize boxes." Also split larger tasks in to bite size chunks For example "Collect income statements", "Collect receipts", "Enter income in tax software," "Send return" instead of just "Do taxes."


Here is a sample todo list:


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Todo.txt


DO 1ST

Send tax into to accountant

Call Chamber of Commerce for membership packet

Call XYZ corp about upcoming speech


TODO

Find new web host

Outsource site billing

Set up interview with Michael Jordan

Wipe old computer

Put old computer on eBay

Arrange lunch with Shaquille O'Neal

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DO


At the start of your work day go through the items in DO 1ST on your todo list and do them in order. Focus on one task at a time, without distractions. Do your MITs (Most Important Tasks) early in the day to get them out of the way and to ensure that they get done. Focus on doing these tasks before moving on to anything else.




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