What makes an organizing system work?
To keep a system working well for you there is one key ingredient:
Keeping up your system just requires a few practical and simple ongoing behaviors. You must be consistent in your application and use, your information and projects need to be current and up to date, and you need to keep tasks in view by the appropriate context of when and where they need to be done.
Review these tips and your current ‘task and time management system’ to see if there is anything falling through the cracks that may call for an adjustment or two.
Keep your task reminders in one consistent place.
It might be on pieces of paper, sticky notes stuck to your screen, or in your PDA. It doesn't matter where, it’s more important that it’s easy to use and you have access to it at all time you need it.
You may keep certain types of reminders on paper and certain others on your computer for example, and that’s ok, yet be as consistent as possible in defining those parameters and stay in the lines of what you have decided.
It’s far to confusing to have reminders about the same kinds of to-do's in many different places. It makes processing of task items difficult as it hinders making fast choices and quickly putting things where they need to be before you are scheduled to act on them.
Consistency is not enough to keep a system running well. It also needs to be up to date.
Otherwise you won’t be able to trust that you have the most important stuff in front of you, and you may get caught up having to resort and re-evaluate everything you are managing.
This will put stress on your psyche as you look at your list and some part of you knows it's not all there. You’ll end up not trusting your system, trying to keep stuff in your head again, and eventually lose the motivation to maintain your system all together.
Keep the ‘Where & When’ in Context
Organize your action list by where the reminder needs to be seen in order to work on it, rather than by project.
Your projects should be kept together by topic, yet the reminders of the very next actions you need to perform need to be seen when and where those actions need to take place.
Keep your task reminders in such a way that you are likely to see them when you need to.
Enjoy my past related articles to help prioritize, get more productive and avoid distraction: