One thing you forgot about task management

Yesterday I have met my old friend, while walking on the street. It was that kind of unexpected-awkward meeting. After quick talk, we arranged meeting in pub later. I immediately pulled out my phone and wrote it down. She looked quite surprised and confused what I did. But for me it was just natural thing to do.

Writing down things, what need to be done is so natural for people. It is necessary part of our lives. Keeping it in our minds drains our valuable energy. There are so many ways how to remind ourselves. Writing post-it notes, writing down on notebook, or using one of thousands of apps for that. It does not really mater, what technique do you use, unless it works for you.

Task management has one dark area. I call it fake productivity. You may know it, after busy day of doing tasks you find, you didn’t completed nothing important. Being busy is not same as being productive. But why does our brain trick us? That good feeling what comes after completing tasks. It is tricky, because we tend to think we are moving forward. Our brain is our own enemy. Can we just change our mind about it?

After 6 years of living with task management, I have found one thing, everybody knows about, but nobody takes seriously. That thing works like wake-up slap for our satisfied brain. Starting doing that boost your productivity rapidly.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
— Paul J. Meyer

Plan —Do — Review

Most people use task management just for capturing ideas what need to be done. Reminder for appointment, or some deadline. That is super effective. It will free your mind and create space for actual work. But that is only one part of task management. When you take boarder view, there are 2 other parts. They are called panning and review.

Planing and review, looks like separate things, but they are bond together. You can do it on the same time. And whole that thing takes you only fraction of your productive time. Doing that will give you clearer sense where are you going and from where. The key is to get real. Build system you can trust.

Do it weekly

Week is gorgeous unit for planning. You can easily plan meeting friend in one week. Week is something our brain is capable of imagine. Pick one day during week and reserve only 10 minutes. Lazy Sunday works best for me. During that time just what you did last week and plan things to do next week. Your weekly goals may come from your monthly or yearly goals.

Having list of things you want to accomplish, helps fight absence of goals what drives you. That kind of feeling, when checking facebook and imgur for hours are best things to do. And that is only side result.

Next time you will find yourself feeling empty and unproductive, sit down for 10 minutes and plan your week.

Let me know about your opinions and how planning helped you. Comment here or tweet me. Cheers!