On Capturing and Processing at Once, and the GTD's Misunderstood Lack of Flexibility

Published on May 25, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

The difficulty of separating the stages to capture and clarify is one of the major handicaps to get the full benefit of GTD.

gtd five stages

One of the most common mistakes when implementing GTD, not only at the beginning but also after having practiced the method for a long time, is the tendency to mix the stages of collecting and processing (or capturing and clarifying, as David Allen call them in his recent review and update of the GTD book.)

Indeed, one of the features that FacileThings users demand more often, even knowing how GTD works, is the ability to process one thing when it’s collected. Or, as a shortcut, allowing to process a specific action in the inbox without being forced to process, one by one, all the previously collected items. It is basically the same trap and it’s really hard to change this habit.

The beauty of this five-step method to get all our activities under control is that actually they’re the steps that all of us already apply when it comes to get things done, although in an unconscious way most of the times—even without knowing a word about GTD. We capture something that got our attention, we clarify what it really means, we organize it by putting it on the corresponding list, we review our lists as often as necessary and we do what we have to do at any time. Collect, process, organize, review and do. Or, following the new naming: Capture, clarify, organize, reflect and engage.

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6 Unusual Ways To Do The Work

Published on May 18, 2015 by Marlena Kuczyńska

Here are six original ways to get things done for when you're too tired or unmotivated.

unusual ways to get things done

It’s the middle of the day, you’re tired and don’t think clearly anymore, you want to go home but still have 3 hours left of work before you can go. You have this nagging thought in your head: How can you get motivated and be more productive all day long, so you don’t hit these darn speed bumps that pop up all over the place like little targets on a video game?

Here are some fun ways to become more productive and motivated during your days:

1. Have a “Be someone else day”

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7 Tips for Staying Productive While Traveling

Published on May 11, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Being productive while you are traveling is not easy. Here are some tips to help you use the time.

Being productive while you’re traveling is not easy, for many reasons: you have limited resources, you have irregular schedules, you eat differently, you usually sleep worse, you do little exercise, you are away from your loved ones, you have more stress, etc.

While traveling, many people have countless moments of boredom and gaps that they could use to do things that they, eventually, would have to do at another point of time, which they could, actually, spend having fun and doing whatever they want.

If you travel a lot for work, or simply if your lifestyle involves moving a lot and working from different locations, you need a kind of small mobile office for when you’re away from home or work. Here’s mine:

mobile office

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How to Use the 50-30-20 Rule to Get More Done

Published on May 04, 2015 by Kayla Matthews

The 50-30-20 rule helps you move toward your big goals, without forgetting everyday tasks.

the 50-30-20 rule

During your average workday, how much time do you spend on emails and other routine activities? It’s easy to fritter away time on tasks that are necessary but not goal-driven.

If you have bigger dreams, you need time to pursue them. But how can you make that happen with so much other stuff on your plate?

The answer is the 50-30-20 rule.

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Being Present

Published on April 27, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

By focusing on what you're doing, rather than multitasking or thinking several different things at once, you'll complete what you're doing, better and faster.

now

“You cannot do what’s important now for you if your mind cannot accept what is happening in this present moment.” ~ John Kuypers

Being present means fully enjoying the moment that you are in. It is the moment when you are calm and you know exactly what you want. You are focused on what you’re doing without thinking about anything else. That’s when life is more real. For how long have you not been present, living the moment you’re in, feeling the now completely?

In this fast paced world we live in, where everything happens so fast and everything becomes obsolete so quickly, most of us have forgotten to be present, to fully enjoy the moment. We have lost the ability to pay attention to what is really important.

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Why You Do Not Usually Make The Best Decision

Published on April 20, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Much of what you think is your rational thinking, comes from paying too much attention, throughout your life, to biased information.

confirmation bias

“The human understanding, when it has once adopted an opinion, draws all things else to support and agree with it.” ~ Francis Bacon

Confirmation bias is a cognitive bias that makes us give much credit to the information that confirms our beliefs, while making us ignore the information that challenges our expectations. In other words, people tend to favorably filter information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of the veracity or falsehood of that information.

We want to think that our opinions are always the result of rational thought, but they are rather the result of paying too much attention, throughout our lives, to information received and interpreted in a biased manner. Confirmation bias is a phenomenon that affects your life much more than you think. You can observe it everywhere.

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Self-management: Bottom-up Approach

Published on April 13, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Focusing on primary outcomes and values is critical for your productivity. But when is the right moment to do that?

bottom-up approach

“Focusing on values does not simplify your life. It gives meaning and direction—and a lot more complexity.” ~ David Allen

When it comes to focus on doing what’s really important, it has always been completely logical to me to do it from top to bottom. That is, first I reflect on what I want to achieve and why; then I create in my mind some kind of objective or goal; next I define one or more projects that I ought to do in order to achieve that goal; and finally I decompose those projects in concrete tasks upon which I can act (at least the initial tasks which will help me get started.)

However, David Allen (author of Getting Things Done) argues that that model, even though it can be useful when you’re already managing your life efficiently and without stress, is not as good in practice and in most cases, due to the complexity of the world we face:

  • There are too many distractions in our daily life for us to really focus on the highest and most significant aspects of our lives. It is difficult to think about these issues without being conditioned by our current urgencies.
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