Are you organised by nature? Or are you like many of us (myself included) who have to force ourselves to be organised? To be honest, I’m a total procrastinator. Always have been. I couldn’t start an assignment until I had that absolute pit of dread in my stomach that it was due in x days or x hours. The adrenaline seemed to push me in a way that no other motivation technique has ever been able to.
One of my favourite pastimes (often when procrastinating) is to look for the latest apps or programs that would help me to reach dizzying organisational heights. I love to hear what methods or programs others are using. Trello, Things, Wunderlist, any host of To Do programs such as Todoist, task lists in our old gmail, Remember The Milk. Oh, the amount time I’ve invested in investigating and trialling these types of tools with no real success, yearning that it had to be simpler. Turns out it very well maybe.
Last week I came across a blog post Why Calendars are More Effective than To Do Lists. It had me at To Do. So I took the bait and clicked. This could be just what I’ve been searching for. Why over complicate things? I have a dread of numerous ‘portals’ – what I refer to as anything I have to log into, so if using my calendar is the new ‘black’ of organisation, I’m willing to give it a try.
Now there is some logic and research behind the idea of ditching time management programs and To Do’s for the calendar. The blog post mentions that our lives are driven by units of time. Be at work by 8.30am, be at that meeting at 9am, etc. So we need to approach our GTD methods from different angle – manage our time, not our to do’s.
I thought I’d give it a go. For the past week I’ve been using my calendar to block in units of time to work on tasks. I have a bigger picture of what I’m working on (ironically, on a To Do list) but rather than staring at the breakdown of tasks, nervously fidgeting in my chair, getting up to go get a coffee or go tell someone in the next building something really important, I have been working on set tasks in units of 15-30 minutes. I’m pleased to report that this new technique for GSD, has helped me to work x% more productively. X being unidentified as I have no quantitative data to back up my claim.
I’m interested to know, do you use a To Do, task list or time management tool? What works best for you?