“I have too many things to do.” “I do not have enough time”. “I had pending tasks…” These are common phrases that we usually say before the overwhelming load of tasks that we assume. The truth is that we often do not know how to allocate our time properly, and when this happens the burden is almost inevitable. That feeling of lack of time invades us and we end the day many times without doing the most relevant activities. To solve this situation, we can apply one of the many productivity methodologies that have helped many people to prioritize their responsibilities and better manage their time.
Here we will explain the basic principles of three of the most recognized techniques for their good results and for the positive impact on those who practice them.
Getting Things Done (GTD), one of the most popular productivity methodologies
First, we’ll talk about Getting Things Done (GTD), a time management technique created by David Allen, a productivity consultant and trainer. The framework proposed by Allen, and which he revealed in a book published in 2001, allows you to organize and track tasks. In this way, we can fully trust that everything on our lists is really what we should and need to do.
In this sense, GTD proposes “transferring” the tasks of our mind to a space where we can work with them (a blackboard, notebook or computer application). Once there, we need to add context and structure to those tasks. Based on the above, GTD is based on a series of lists in which we will organize all the pending tasks that we remember.
The Steps Of The GTD
Implementing GTD involves capturing and processing the things we are engaged in, following a five-step workflow:
- Capture: That is, write down everything that requires our attention and action: tasks, errands, projects and ideas. We write them down, in no particular order, in a list or file titled “Inbox.”
- Processing: In itself, it consists of analyzing if each task is “processable”, that is, if it requires a specific action. It is a procedure that must be fast and frequent.
- Organization: This means determining where to “file” certain pending: the calendar, the task management application or even in the “trash”. Here we can add context to the task by assigning it a label: “Office”, “Interview with the client”, “Work meeting”, “Emails”, “Phone calls”, etc. All of this is context.
- Reflect: In this step, we proceed to a review of our lists to make the required adjustments. It is advisable to do this check at the end of the week. Otherwise, the tasks pile up and the system crashes.
- Act: In short, if you managed to set up your system well and if the tasks and commitments on your lists are what you need to do, then do them! Only then will you move forward safely towards achieving your goals. After all, this is the purpose of all productivity methodologies.
Lists Or Folders
Apart from the above, it is essential to assign titles to our lists or folders: “Inbox”, “In process”, “Next actions”, “Waiting for…”, “Projects” and “Someday”. These lists are keys to the GTD system . Everything that needs our attention goes first to the “inbox”. It will then move on to other lists during the processing and organizing stages. Indeed, the way in which we process and order the aforementioned lists will determine which pending ones we will act on and which ones we will not.