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How to organize daily tasks and project objectives

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  • How to organize daily tasks and project objectives

    Greetings everyone!

    I am currently setting up my GTD system, and there is an issue that has really been bothering me. How should I categorize/organize tasks which need to be done daily?

    For example, one project of mine is to maintain physical fitness. Another is to practice daily breathing exercises to cope with and prevent anxiety. Projects have been listed for both, and all of my resources are in place. I have been doing some form of physical activity and exercise every day for a little more than a month, but I would not say that it could be called a habit yet, nor will it be in the foreseeable future. The same goes for my anxiety-prevention exercises, dishes, and much else that requires daily action in my life. That being said, I would like each of these activities to be in my next-action list daily. However, I am not sure then how I will keep track of having completed them. Should I take them off the list one day only to put them back on the next morning? Should I maintain a checklist independent of the rolling next-action list for such things? The book specifies to not use a calendar, for the calendar is to be "sacred ground" and used only for things that absolutely need to be done that day-- the "hard edge" as it were.

    Any advice for what I should do?

  • #2
    Habits

    There are a number of ways people handle habits and it seems to depends a fair bit on your list manager software.

    I use Evernote and so most routines are just a checklist. I have a morning routine checklist, an evening routine checklist and a weekly review checklist. I tag the morning and evening routine ones with _Daily Routine and that shows up on my shortcuts. I am very clear on my triggers for the two routines (morning routine = waking up, and evening routine = arriving at home) so I just pull up the checklist when I am ready.

    I think once you're clear on the trigger for each habit you're trying to build, that'll help you determine where to anchor it in your system.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Grey_Warden View Post
      How should I categorize/organize tasks which need to be done daily?

      For example, one project of mine is to maintain physical fitness. Another is to practice daily breathing exercises to cope with and prevent anxiety. Projects have been listed for both, and all of my resources are in place. I have been doing some form of physical activity and exercise every day for a little more than a month, but I would not say that it could be called a habit yet, nor will it be in the foreseeable future. The same goes for my anxiety-prevention exercises, dishes, and much else that requires daily action in my life. That being said, I would like each of these activities to be in my next-action list daily.
      You don't specify what tools you are using, and that can matter a great deal in how YOU want to see things. You have four choices: next action list, calendar, checklist or nothing at all. If you use a tool that supports a daily todo list, e.g. a "Due Today" view in an app, and recurring events, then this can work. Otherwise, no. Calendar can be ok, although having something like "Take laxative" at the top of every day can be sobering, even if very few people see it. Checklist can work pretty well, paper or electronic. Best in many ways is nothing at all: build the habits of doing the dishes and exercising. That takes time, as you acknowledge.

      p.s. Grey_Warden: Dresden Files?

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      • #4
        Replies

        You don't specify what tools you are using, and that can matter a great deal in how YOU want to see things.
        Oh, I suppose I didn't! Sorry about that. I am using Evernote, Google Calendar, and an additional physical in-basket and filing system for things that aren't worth the time it would take to scan and file electronically.

        I use Evernote and so most routines are just a checklist.
        Is there a checklist function directly in Evernote? I'll have to check that out. I currently am using a whiteboard at my desk (at home) to keep track of these things, but it would be nice to have everything in one place.

        Thanks so much for your prompt replies!

        Comment


        • #5
          I use a daily checklist to remind me to do those sort of activities. Since the new year I have also set a goal to lose weight and become healthier, so I also track my diet and exercise in a diary.
          For things that I do at home like ab exercises, stretching, yoga, that can be done at any time in the day, the checklist works fine. For activities like swimming, which we do as a family and the time needs to be coordinated with other,s activities, then putting it on the calendar works better so I don't plan an activity over the top of it, or if I need to I am alerted to the need to reschedule it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grey_Warden View Post
            Oh, I suppose I didn't! Sorry about that. I am using Evernote, Google Calendar, and an additional physical in-basket and filing system for things that aren't worth the time it would take to scan and file electronically.



            Is there a checklist function directly in Evernote? I'll have to check that out. I currently am using a whiteboard at my desk (at home) to keep track of these things, but it would be nice to have everything in one place.
            I'm using a mac, and the formatting bar above a new note shows the usual left-center-right-justified settings; just to the right of that are three settings for a list, a numbered list, and checkboxes. If you click on checkboxes, you can enter line after line, each with a checkbox. An empty line will end the checklist. This allows you to embed a checklist in any Evernote note. Cool, huh?

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            • #7
              Use tickler file

              If you have a physical ticker file set up, create 2/3 lists depending on your requirements. If you get into the routine of checking the file morning, evening and move the reminder lists into the following day each time you complete them, it will become routine to do these things daily.

              I do this at work with a 'morning routine' and 'end of day', and it has been very easy so far!

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              • #8
                Thanks, everyone!

                Thank you all for your advice. I have decided to continue to use my whiteboard tickler system, as I currently do not have any "routine" things that need doing outside of the house. The checklist option in Evernote is indeed cool, though, and I will be using it to help track project progress.

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