Getting Things Done

I get a lot done. Friends often comment on how much I get accomplished. There’s no magic. I simply make a list. Well, actually, I make several lists.

At the beginning of the week I look over my schedule and plan out the week. I leave wiggle room in most days just in case something takes longer than I expect or something more vital comes up.

At the beginning of the day I look over my calendar and remind myself of that day’s schedule. At that point I start that day’s to do list. I group things so that I do as little backtracking as possible. I keep most of my lists in a notebook labeled My Other Brain. That notebook has sections for different aspects of my life. The front section is my basic to do list. There are sections for my direct sales business, my publication design projects, church, marketing (so I can add to my list of stuff to buy whenever I remember something I need), data I need to keep at hand, and inspiration. The inspiration section is where I jot down quotes, thoughts, and ideas that don’t fit in any of the other categories.

Here’s the thing—by writing down the things that pop into my head, I clear space for what needs to come next. This helps me to focus on whatever I’m doing without forgetting whatever popped into my head.

The only exception to that is when I’m driving down the road. I do a lot of driving. I can’t write anything down while I’m driving, so I make use of our answering machine. I use the voice dial feature on my cell phone to call home and leave myself a message. It works beautifully.

That’s pretty much it. That’s how I get so much done. Well, that and taking care of myself. By exercising, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep I have the energy to actually tackle my lists. Like I said, it’s not magic.


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