Constantly having to think about what needs doing and when it needs doing by can be a big source of anxiety and stress; it plays on our mind while we try to get to sleep at night our while we’re trying to focus on another task at work, destroying our productivity in the meantime.
Having a system to keep your thoughts and everything else organised in a methodical way will help you to stop wasting time worrying about these things, giving you more time to spend on actually getting things done. Experts are constantly trying to come up with the best techniques to make people more productive. One method that many types of people have found to be effective is called Getting Things Done and was created by David Allen. All you need to make this method work are your own thoughts, a pen and some paper.
There are five stages to the Getting Things Done productivity method:
Take everything from your head and write it down; jobs that need completing in work, errands you need to run outside of work, and anything else that is worrying you. At this stage, it doesn’t matter about giving too much detail or writing it down well, just as long as you understand what you mean by it.
Here’s where you expand on everything you noted down in the first stage. Break each thing down into smaller, more specific steps so that you are clear about what needs doing. Smaller steps are better because they are less intimidating to tackle.
Add even more detail by assigning priority levels or due dates to tasks, or by organising them into categories to streamline your process of completing them, making it easier for yourself.
Check your to-do list everyday to stay on top of your progress. If there are any tasks that you can break down further or clarify better, then take more notes to keep your list up to date and as clear as possible.
– Now you’ve got your list of clear and actionable tasks, it’s time to get them done.
Obviously, you don’t have to use pen and paper for this method; you could alternatively use a note-taking app on your smartphone, laptop or tablet. However, research has shown that writing things down on paper helps you to remember the information much more effectively than typing it out, so the GTD method will work more effectively using pen and paper.
Why not try the Getting Things Done method to find out how you can become more productive at work with just a pen and paper.