Jun 092013

A Daily Checklist is one of the great ideas I gleaned from Paperless Home Organization. Using the sample Mystie has as an appendix, I created my own with all the tasks I try to get done each day. Your primary ToDo list has tasks and projects you need to get done. This list has your daily routine items that would clutter the main list but still need to get done.

I have my checklist divided into 5 sections:

  1. Home Routine – Morning
  2. Work Routine – Morning
  3. Work Routine – Afternoon
  4. Home Routine – Evening
  5. Evening Review Steps

In each of these sections I have the items I would like to get done at that time of day. Some items are repeated in multiple sections if they need to be done at multiple times during the day. Some items only show up on certain days of the week.

Things like ‘Quick Calendar Review’, and ‘Scan E-mail’ are in my morning routine. Later in morning work routine I have ‘Inbox Zero – today’s mail’ and in the afternoon ‘Inbox Zero – 10 old e-mails’ My evening home routine has items like ‘Reading’ and ‘Evening Walk’.

By having them on a list I know what I need to get done without having to think about it all the time. If at the end of the day I look at what is left on the list and can make a judgement call on the 2 hours I spent in front of the TV.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Apr 282013

Eat That Frog!.
Brian Tracy.

You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it

Page: 14

I have added “Label Frog” as the first item on my Daily Checklist.
The second item on my Daily Checklist is “Eat That Frog.”

Each morning I make sure that I have only one item on my Office ToDo List that is ‘starred’ and ‘high priority.’ Hopefully I will get a couple things checked off my ToDo List but this item is my focus each day. I may be interrupted and have urgent items come up but I come back to this item to get it done. Once done, I can go back to my Daily Checklist and check “Eat That Frog” as complete.
My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Apr 282013

Eat That Frog!.
Brian Tracy.

Page 13 has two great quotes related to ‘eating frogs’, i.e. getting your primary task done first:

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.
The second rule of frog eating is this:If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Apr 252013

Eat That Frog!.
Brian Tracy.
Google Books

A business webinar I ‘attended’ recommended one of Brian Tracy’s books, “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.” That book was not available at the library but they had a number of others available as e-books including this one.

Book Posts

Book Info

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
by Brian Tracy
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Published: 04/09/2001
ISBN-10: 1576754227
ISBN-13: 978-1576754221
Started: 04/26/2013
Finished: 06/01/2013
Source: Mid-Columbia Library
Reason: Author was recommended
Format: e-book

Publisher Synopsis

The legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.

Author Info
Brian Tracy is a leading authority on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness. He addresses over 250,000 people each year on the subjects of personal and professional development.

Mar 302013
Page: 65
One essential concept of Getting Things Done is to set aside time, even if it isn’t much, to daily and weekly reviews, where you check in with your lists, remind yourself of what’s on your plate, and keep both your systems and your mind current. If all your lists are going to benefit you, you must actually look at them.

I have always struggled with the weekly reviews of my task lists. I have put the weekly review on my list of To-Do’s each week but it is so easy to skip. But without a review you have things that remain at the bottom of your list that either should just be reviewed or moved to top priority because you forgot about them.

Do you review your list of To-Do’s? Any suggestions?

Feb 032013
Page: 46
Although we’re using RTM to manage our action items, still Evernote will be a daily-used source for lists and notes we’ll reference throughout the day. All the daily & weekly summary lists as well as goal-oriented notes, I keep in a stack at the top of other other stacks called !GTD. Maybe someday I’ll think of a prettier name, but for now, this communicates what it’s about.

Keeping a seperate list for routine daily and weekly chores seems counterintuitive until you realize that the daily list is really just a reminder of the daily habits you are trying to build. Your actual to-do list contains non-routine tasks.

Based on the suggestion of this book, I pulled my daily routines into a seperate list and now find it much easier to get both done.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Feb 012013
[Organization] is never complete. It is like swimming. You are either treading water or slowly sinking; progress is getting yourself back to the surface before you drown, not arriving at a destination. However, treading water at least becomes easier the longer you do it. At first it takes concentration and focus and energy simply to stay afloat, but eventually you get into better shape and can breathe evenly again. However, you never get so good at it that you can stop. Stop, and gravity and entropy will immediately begin pulling you down again.
Page: 6

How many times has my to-do list has completely overwhelmed me? Too many times to count. I am not sure which is worse, not getting things done because there is too much to do or because you don’t remember what needs to be done.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Jan 282013

Though written for homemakers to be better organized, the organizational principles sketched out in this book are universal. I have taken a number of Mystie’s ideas and worked them into my current attempt to be more organized both at the office and at home.

If you have a computer, a smart phone, or a tablet and want to know how to organize your life using two simple digital tools, Remember the Milk & Evernote, this is a good how-to.

Book Info

Paperless Home Organization: A how-to guide to creating a digital homemaking binder
by Mystie Winckler
Published: 01/18/2013
ISBN-10: 0000000000
Started: 01/17/2013
Finished: 01/19/2013
Source: Author, my daughter, gave it to me.
Reason: Always looking for a way to (better) organize my life.
Format: e-book

Publisher Synopsis

Organize Your Life and Home

Never lose a list again!
Keep track of everything in one place!
Put your gadgets to good use!

Best of all, this book shows you how to get organized using only free, web-based applications that sync with free apps on both Apple and Android devices.

Your home management “binder” will be digital, will take up no extra space no matter how much you add to it, will work on every platform, and will require no further investment in apps or programs.
Take advantage of your smartphone or iPad! Put it to good use: organizing your life.

What the digital home management system lacks in crafty cuteness, it makes up for in accessibility and versatility. The digital version is actually the frugal option if you already have the tools. If you have a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop, why also keep heavy, clumsy paper binders?

So don’t let your gadgets go to waste; use them to make your life simpler.

Author Info

Mystie blogs at Simply Convivial, reflecting her desire to build more happiness, festivity, and fellowship into her home and family.

With nine-year-old and seven-year-old boys wrestling and digging and reading, a four-year-old-girl tagging alongside, a hefty two-year-old son opening every drawer he can, and a brand new second daughter, Mystie strives to maintain an orderly and harmonious home. Official homeschooling has begun, but it is the daily interaction, the relationships fostered, that are equally as integral to the children’s identity and development as their scholastic studies are. Academics provide a forge for character, just as life provides fodder for learning.

Mystie was raised to be a reader in a home full of books. At her father’s knee she learned the first step to any hobby or undertaking is to check out 5 books on the topic from the library — and read them. She now passes on that book dependence to the next generation, while maintaining it in her own life. Having read dozens of books on childrearing and education, and participating in online discussions on the topics, she is settling into her own hybrid of Charlotte Mason, classical education, and — much to her chagrin — Christian unschooling.

Mystie, the oldest of seven children, was homeschooled herself from birth through high school. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID at the age of 20. She and her husband, Matt, were married at 19, with no looking back and no regrets.

Source: Organize Your Life and Home
My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter;
Jan 252013

I have been reexamining and streamlining my workflow and will be linking to some of the good stuff I find. I have been using Remember the Milk (RTM) to manage my personal and work to-do list since 2009. It has worked pretty well but I am always willing to waste some time looking for a better way to get things done.

Getting Things Done

Pete Jakob’s Workflow

Pete Jakob has a great write-up about his Getting Things Done (GTD) workflow and the tools he uses to process the multitude of tasks that inundate us. The tools used are not near as important as the fact that you have a process that works and is dependable. In his first post, 7 Work Survival Tips for 2013, he has boiled down 7 things he learned while setting up his process:
  1. You’ve got to have a (trusted) system
  2. Processing and Doing are Not the Same
  3. Adieu to Due Dates
  4. Keep things Moving with Projects
  5. Get Yourself an Elephant
  6. Get Out of Your Inbox
  7. Get Ready for the weekend with a Weekly Review

In his follow-up post, Surviving 2013 – Part 2. The Tools!, Pete Jakob briefly discusses using Evernote as his Reference Store for things he may want to refer back to in the future and using Toodledo to handle his Workflow Management, allowing him to manage his day and ensure that things that come up get processed, or as I read elsewhere, triaged. He finishes up the article with 13 slides (image above is one of them) detailing his setup.

Source: B2B Marketing - Open for Business
My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter; Pinterest;