How I Learned to Suck Less at GTDAUTHOR: Nouman Ali
Do you always find yourself overburdened by numerous pending tasks? Are you finding it hard to meet deadlines and feel like there are multiple things to be done at all times? If yes, then don’t panic, you are not alone! Most people find it a challenge to manage several things simultaneously and struggle to find the right balance. The struggle is not restricted to office or school work only, people find it difficult to GTD in their general lives as well.
GTD is an abbreviation for Getting Things Done. While most people keep waiting for a magical potion to help them sort their time management skills, others take concrete steps to manage their time productively. David Allen, the author of “Getting Things Done,” has outlined a simple strategy to help you organize your activities effectively.
This article will elaborate on these steps to help you Get Things Done as well! Whether you are a homemaker, a student, or a full time working professional, these steps will help you become more productive within days.
The steps are:
1. Jot it Down/Make a List
One of the most useful tips to manage your tasks and activities is to write it down somewhere. Once we transfer the task into the written word, whether on paper or a digital document, we are reminded of it throughout the day.
Once you make a list of the things you have to do, experts say that it is more likely that you will complete all your tasks. Moreover, you will avoid the risk of forgetting a task and doing it last minute!
Following are a few advantages of writing down the things to do:
- Writing down helps to record everything worth your attention
- Helps to declutter your mind
- It helps prioritize
- Keeps you remain aware and motivated
- Keeps you organized
- Keeps you focused
You can use anything to write down your daily duties, simple methods like the good old pen & paper, and a to-do list on your phone ae suitable for people with a light workload. On the other hand, professionals who are juggling many things at once can use specialized software, systems, and programs such as FacileThings to help them keep organized.
2. Clarity In Objectives
Too often, we give ourselves unrealistic goals and tasks with unachievable timelines. It is essential to evaluate or daily responsibilities to determine which tasks are a priority, which ones are urgent, and which ones can be done later. Moreover, we must not take on more than we can do; we may think that we can do everything, but we can’t.
It is vital to plan and schedule your tasks; be clear about your objective, identify essential and urgent tasks, and allot a realistic time for each one.
You can work more productively with a clear mind; it increases focus and enthusiasm. Here is how you can achieve clarity:
- Set realistic goals
- Prioritize the tasks based on importance and urgency
- Least important tasks shouldn’t consume your energies
- Assigning realistic time for each activity is important
Many businesses have reported improved productivity after achieving clarity of objectives. The owner of a software house said that once they figured out what they wanted to achieve, it became easier to prioritize and manage tasks.
3. Organize and Prioritize
Just because you like something doesn’t mean you have to do it first. Your energy is a finite resource, and you can get tired or drained after it is consumed. It is essential to spend your energy and time on the right task at the right moment. Too often, we procrastinate important tasks and then get distracted. We open our computer to get a task done but start watching a video, get distracted by social media, or something that is not at all important.
To keep yourself focused, an organized list of to-dos is essential. Once you know what your highest priority task is, it is easier to focus on it. Prioritization enables action, and you must incorporate it into your routine.
We suggest that you frequently review and update your to-do list as new tasks may come in every day. You need to be flexible about adjusting new tasks on your list, but only after evaluating their priority. If you have an urgent deadline for an old task, then assign a later date to any new tasks. However, if the new task is a more pressing concern, then do it first.
Another tip is to avoid personal favors and requests; you need to learn how to say no when people bombard you with favors. Helping people is good, but only if it suits your schedule. Too often, people get distracted by helping other people and tend to delay important tasks.
Hence reviewing is important to incorporate all the tasks in your to-do list.
5. Follow the list
Now that you have carefully planned all your tasks and their priorities, time to follow the routine. Start working on your tasks based on the time you have assigned to them and stay focused on your high priority tasks. No matter how easily you get distracted, set alarms, keep reminders, and stick to your routine.
One way to do it is by rewarding yourself after you complete a task, give yourself a five-minute break, watch a small video, or chat with a friend when you complete a project. Getting your work done on time decreases anxiety and makes you more self-confident. You will find that you are more sure of your capabilities when you are organized. Above all, you will get a lot done in one day!
Accomplishing things on time increases your credibility and trustworthiness among colleagues and can be an ego booster. Getting organized helps both in personal as well as professional lives. When you get things done in their due time, you feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
It takes time to develop a new habit, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes normal for you to follow your schedule. Getting organized is one of the most prized quality because not only does it make you successful, it leads to a stress-free life as well.
Did this list help you get things done? Let us know in the comments below!