The “Not This Week” List

Published on July 13, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

The Not This Week list will help you make a shorter and more solid Weekly Review.

weekly review

Out of the fundamental habits of GTD, the Weekly Review is one of most difficult to establish. All organizational systems tend to go towards entropy and many people fail to realize how important it is to keep their system clean and updated so they can trust it unreservedly.

When you skip the review for one week, your system begins to move away from your reality. It contains actions and information that are no longer relevant, outdated projects, things that are not where they should be, and it becomes incomplete, as there are things that are in your head but not in your system. When you skip the review for three or four weeks, your system has no way to be run and therefore you abandon it, you fall off the wagon.

It is at this point that some say “GTD is too complicated” or “GTD is not for me.” The truth is that neither GTD or any other form of organization will work if you do not keep the information clean, clear, current and complete.

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FacileThings: Changelog (July 2015)

Published on July 09, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

A list of minor changes and bug fixes on FacileThings.

Here is a list of minor changes and bug fixes that have been made on FacileThings in recent weeks:

Fixed sidebar

In our last update, project management with Personal Kanban, we introduced in the Projects section a line to get a separated scroll in the left menu and the page content. Since it provides greater control over what you want to view, we also extended the use of this fixed sidebar to the other sections:

fixed sidebar

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How to Manage Your Time if You Are a Self-Employed Worker

Published on July 06, 2015 by GesTron

Six tips to be a more productive self-employed worker.

self-employed worker

Time management is a challenge for anyone. However, if there is one type of professional that faces it as a challenge and an obligation at the same time, that is the independent one.

Self-employed people are businesses and as such, they have to manage all departments of those businesses: they run projects, manage their customers, seek new projects and customers and also can become the accountant and the marketing director. In short, they do so many things that time management is not just a challenge, it is something they are bound to do.

In order to facilitate this task, I will give you six tips that should help you “steal hours from the clock” so that your days won’t not a succession of eating, working and sleeping.

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Why To-do Lists Do Not Work... And Calendars Either

Published on June 29, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

We need new methods, technologies, and work habits to help us get on top of our world.

to-do list

“Neither our standard education, nor traditional time-management models, nor the plethora of organizing tools available, has given us a viable means of meeting the new demands placed on us.” ~ David Allen

To-do lists were invented at the same time that time management started to become a problem for many people, especially for knowledge workers. There was too much to do, so at the beginning it was at least necessary to have a clear inventory of all that stuff.

Once we had those long lists in our hands, we saw that they could be improved. We could identify the tasks to be done at a specific time and put them in special task lists we called calendars. There are still many people who handle all their tasks with a calendar (what harm Google Calendar has done!)

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Crises Are Opportunities

Published on June 22, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Crises are situations in which everything can be improved. Get used to them and accept them.

crisis

“Through each crisis in my life, with acceptance and hope, in a single defining moment, I finally gained the courage to do things differently.” ~ Sharon E. Rainey

Personal productivity is mainly a matter of habits. That’s why when the wrong habits are installed in your brain for too much time, nothing works. No matter the method, tricks and support tools that you use. The first few weeks everything seems great, but old habits suddenly impose again and chaos reigns again.

If that happens to you, the good news is that at least you are on the right track. You may need to overstep the mark a little more and cause a bigger crisis.

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New GTD Project Management in FacileThings: Personal Kanban

Published on June 17, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

From now on, you can choose Kanban Personal to manage specific projects in your GTD system.

In GTD, most of your projects (by definition, any outcome that needs more than one action step) will be a sequence of actions to be performed one after the other to achieve the end result. In such projects, FacileThings shows you only the very first next action of each project in the Next Actions list. And when you complete it, the following action shows up automatically. So straightforward.

However there are cases, in projects that are more complex and/or more people are involved, where it can be convenient to have more than one action of the same project active in your Next Actions list.

We have researched into different ways to allow you to manage such projects. After testing different kinds of diagrams and methods, we have chosen to implement a Kanban-type management, for several reasons:

  • Its simple and visual character is suitable for anyone. No need to be an engineer to manage a project.
  • Despite its simplicity, it’s very powerful.
  • It is a flexible and lean system, highly consistent with the GTD philosophy.
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Action Bias: Stand Still... If You Can

Published on June 08, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Individuals have a penchant for action, often for good reasons. Sometimes is just a result of nonrational behavior.

action bias

The referee gives a penalty kick in a soccer match. The ball will take a split second to reach the goal from the moment of the striker’s kick, so the goalie cannot wait to see the ball’s trajectory to decide to which side he should jump. The decision should be taken beforehand. The odd thing is that the goalkeeper will decide, in most cases, to jump to the right side or to the left side, when the optimal strategy according to statistics is the third option: standing in the middle. Why won’t he stand still? Just because doing nothing is always somewhat embarrassing, even if it is the right thing to do.

In the Summer I often find myself in traffic jams due to the many tourists who frequent the beaches of the Mediterranean coast. As I know the area, I get on little known roads and paths as soon as I spot a line of stopped cars. Most of the time this is kind of counterproductive; when taking these roads I drive more kilometers, spend more gas and sometimes it even take longer than if I got stuck for 10 or 15 minutes. But, well, moving is preferable than feeling that I’m just standing there, wasting my time.

This phenomenon is called action bias 1 and it urges us to do things in ambiguous situations where we feel we should be doing something, whether it is a good idea or not. It is something you should keep in mind because we usually take very bad decisions in such circumstances.

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