Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Paperback – March 17, 2015

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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Paperback – March 17, 2015

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  • 56 Reviews
  • June 23, 2019 Last Review Date
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Discussion and Reviews on Reddit

LPT: Have trouble procrastinating or not reaching your goals? Use the Goal, Objective, Task model [R]

1 week, 3 days agoPDshotME posted submission on LifeProTips.
June 23, 2019

Procrastination can take place when the thing we want to accomplish is too abstract or far away to be worth achieving.

Here are a few abstract goals:

"Learn how to play piano"

"Buy a car"

"Get in shape"

Why are these abstract? Because they are missing a timeline and roadmap in order to achieve them. Further, the goal itself is not specific enough. Once you set your goal and timeline, you need to work your way backwards until you get to very tangible daily/weekly steps that you will take to achieve these goals.

Here's a more concrete version of the goals above:

GOAL: Learn how to play piano "Arabesque by Debussy in one year"

OBJECTIVES: Take weekly piano lessons, learn how to read sheet music and rudimentary piano technique

TASKS: 1. Purchase sheet music for Arabesque this week; 2, set personal budget for piano lessons today; 3. search for a call local piano teacher this week

You can do the same for the other two example goals I shared. Don't be afraid if you fall short. Procrastinators are usually not very practical and realistic, so it may take you time to make your goals tangible. Good luck!

1 week, 2 days agoPDshotME posted comment on LifeProTips.
June 23, 2019

Here's a great book that works but using similar principles.. highly recommended read for anyone who has things to do.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Looking to buy "Getting Things Done": What is the latest revision? [R]

2 months, 2 weeks agobrentajones posted submission on productivity.
April 17, 2019

I see on Amazon that there's one for 2018, but it has no reviews so i'm kind of skeptical. The one that has the majority of reviews was published/revised in 2015. There doesn't seem to be anything on his site either.

Can someone let me know what the latest revision would be? Thanks.

2 months, 2 weeks agobrentajones posted comment on productivity.
April 17, 2019

The newest edition of Getting Things Done is from 2015. There was a “Getting Things Done For Teens” that came out in 2018. There’s also a “Getting Things Done Workbook” with a release date later in 2019.

If you’re looking for the main book, the 2015 edition is the one to get.

Having a hell of a time being productive. [R]

3 months agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
April 2, 2019

I really love where I work. I started my job a year ago and I’m learning a lot, I’m just having trouble staying on task. I’m making deadlines and getting good feedback from my work, but the amount of anxiety and shame I cause for myself is unreal. A typical example: I have a month to finish a project. Weeks 1-3 I’m doing the little things I need to take care of to not totally screw myself, but I take any opportunity of distraction. Reddit, other social media, articles, music, videos, and chasing any random idea I have way too far. I’ll be in the middle of the work day and decide to call and make some health care appointment. While I genuinely need to do this, I definitely don’t need to use it as a distraction. Then the day ends and I think “I’ll get it done tomorrow”. The trouble is, tomorrow only comes once I’m under a time pressure. I’ll find anything else to do, rather than what I SHOULD be doing.

It’s like I’m missing a link. Sometimes I’m not quite sure how to tackle something and I’ll avoid it, almost like I think the solution will dawn on me (sometimes it does). Even though I’m getting great feedback, I could absolutely be producing better results in half the time or less.

Anytime I can get on top of it and have a productive day I feel AMAZING. I work in a creative field and I’ve always struggled with that process versus jobs that are more task based (like data entry or the like is easy to get done).

This of course spills over into my personal life and I can have a hard time doing what I need to do at home. Overall though it’s work that is the issue. Although I’m chronically 10 - 15 minutes late for work because I spent too long sitting on my couch drinking coffee and scrolling through Instagram.

Does anyone else deal with this? My plan this week is deleting social media apps from my phone, and only having them accessible from a tablet at home. I can kill hours on reddit and Instagram...and Instagram is worse. I turned off the screen time app because I was so embarrassed. I have a ghost account and fallow all these finance/healthy/home decor/fitness accounts of people I don’t know in real life. When I take a step back and realize how much I’m watching people i wish I was like live their lives I feel so ashamed.

Am I missing a life skill here??

If you made it this far, thank you.

3 months agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
April 2, 2019

That's pretty much the whole premise of the GTD book:

  1. Get everything off your head & into a trusted external system
  2. Clarify all tasks into next-action items to work against

Because otherwise, you have to mentally juggle an endless assortment of undefined tasks, which results in stress, anxiety, and procrastination. It's also hard to manage things you can't see...when they're in your head, they're invisible, but when you stick next-action items on lists & calendars, you can easily prioritize them by context, time required, energy required, and importance because they're "real", because they're written down & in front of your eyes.

Living & working off a list of next-actions is a huge gamechanger, because you don't have to sit there & figure out what to do are constantly working off a list of actionable tasks, which reflects how we operate as humans, which is: we can only do specific things. As the author of GTD puts it, you can't actually do a project, you can only do actions related to a project, and when enough of those actions are completed, then you call the project "done", which is a pretty weird way to look at managing & completing projects, but is actually the most effective way to tackle them, because then you're constantly plowing away on next-action items & are actually making progress towards the completion of the project.

Anyway, the concept of "next-action items" is fairly obviously once you understand them, but are not really intuitive until you realize what you're missing & adopt them into your workflow. That, combined with capturing 100% of your commitments into an external system means that (1) you never forget ANYTHING, and (2) that you ALWAYS know EXACTLY what to do next. GTD has really cracked that foundational-level code for getting & staying 100% on top of everything in your life!

I want to learn discipline [R]

3 months, 3 weeks agokaidomac posted submission on IWantToLearn.
March 12, 2019

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mr.Miyagi to have me paint any fences. I want to learn how to be disciplined so that I may follow through with my goals and plans for life. It seems like every time I start something I stay with it for a few days then give up.

3 months, 3 weeks agokaidomac posted comment on IWantToLearn.
March 12, 2019

Check out the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, if you're not familiar with it:

That's the foundation of my personal productivity system. It's pretty much a bulletproof way to, well, get things done, lol.

27, chronic underachiever. What next? [R]

4 months agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
March 5, 2019

I've been an underachiever/procrastinator my whole life. I've skated by on the few things I've been half decent at, but I've never worked hard for anything. I lack discipline in every facet of my life. I'm not exaggerating; it takes me a week to build up the mental energy to clean my room.

Now I'm 27, cue mid-life crisis and I want to work on the things that I keep telling myself and other people that I am working on, but I find that so many days come and go where I get little to nothing done. I end up playing games, getting high, and watching videos on the Internet for hours. Then I'll have a spark of motivation and burn myself out from working feverishly over a few days.

Is it possible to build that discipline this late in life?

3 months, 4 weeks agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
March 7, 2019

Yes, start out with GTD:

That's the foundation of my personal productivity system. The idea is:

  1. Keep everything off your brain, so your mind is clear
  2. Work off a list of specific next-actions all day long, so you can jump right into doing work instead of procrastinating

The core idea of GTD is that there are 5 links in the chain from an idea or a commitment, to actually achieving & executing the task:

  1. Capture the task
  2. Process the task into a next-action item
  3. Organize the next-action item where it belongs (calendar or list, ex. "buy milk" goes on the grocery list, "9:30am dentist appointment" goes on the calendar)
  4. Review the system on a regular basis to make sure you're on top of things
  5. Actually do the next-actions when required

Everybody does some parts of this process, but very few people do ALL parts of that process, and do them regularly enough to really be on top of things. The idea of GTD is that your brain makes a terrible storage device, therefore you should jot down all of your commitments (stuff you have to do, stuff you want to do, etc.) & process them into next-actions on a daily basis, because you can't do a task, but you CAN do a next-action item! And that's like 80% of procrastination right now - simply not knowing exactly what the next step is to take.

The problem then becomes having a million next-action items, which is why you do the organizing step: you have a calendar, plus a variety of "context" lists - at the grocery store, at home, at work, etc. You can't buy milk at home or at work, but you need that reminder when you're at the grocery store. To be totally honest, simply changing your day to work off a list of next-actions is a huge, huge gamechanger. Very few people live & work like that.

So the idea is that (1) you dump everything off your head, so you don't have a zillion things flying around your brain all the time distracting you & stressing you out, and (2) you work off a list of next-actions all day long, so you can jump right into getting things done. The concept is simple, but the execution of this approach is literally life-changing.

This loops back to "what's your system?" Can you clearly explain to me how you stay 100% on top of EVERYTHING in your life? Can you say with complete confidence that there's not anything you've missed or forgotten or let slide in your life? GTD lets you say that. GTD lets you be 100% on top of things...not because you're crazy productive or anything, but because you are actively capturing everything that comes your way, processing it into a next-action item, and then sticking it in the right reminder system so that you'll actually remember to do it via reminders, rather than trusting your brain not to forget ("sure, I'll remember that!" is the biggest lie I tell myself lol).

I consider GTD the secret weapon of my life. It's not an easy book to get into, as it's dense, and most people never completely setup their system or do the initial capture-everything project, but if you do, and if you use the system on a daily basis, you're going to overcome a lot of problems in your life, if you struggle with things like procrastination & other barriers to getting things done.

IWTL how to maintain focus,better absorb and retain information [R]

4 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted submission on IWantToLearn.
Feb. 17, 2019

I love reading but as I grew older now at 26, I find it hard to focus on my reading and retain the material. Any tips?

4 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted comment on IWantToLearn.
Feb. 19, 2019

how to maintain focus

Adopt GTD. Read this:

In summary:

  1. In order to focus, you need to know what to do
  2. In order to know what to do, you need to define what the next action step required is
  3. In order to select a next-action, you need a list of next-actions to select from, and a way to to choose which one to do in the moment
  4. In order to create that list, you need to convert stuff you have to do into next-action items
  5. In order to have stuff to convert, you need to write down the stuff you're on the hook for
  6. In order to have a complete set of options, you need to capture everything you're on the hook for

Kind of hard to focus if you don't have something to focus on. In order to focus, you need to single-task, not multi-task, because then you're not doing a good job & giving that task your full attention. In order to do that, you have to pick something to work on, while ignoring everything else, because otherwise you will get distracted. There's a whole chain of stuff that has to be done in order to be able to truly focus properly; fortunately, someone has already figured that out & published it in a book:

better absorb and retain information

Read this:

Effective Time Management and How to Stop Procrastinating [R]

4 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
Feb. 17, 2019

Hi! I’m currently a junior in high school and I always feel like I’m running out of time when it comes to school work and just everything. Are there any tips for how I can stop procrastinating and manage my time effectively?

Currently I use google calendar for my long term activities. For short term activities I use an app called Todoist on my phone (for homework and such). But I still procrastinate and find myself being extremely unproductive ;-;

4 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
Feb. 17, 2019

There are two things you cannot manage:

  1. Time, because it keeps on coming
  2. Responsibilities, because you have them already

What you can manage, however is:

  • Action

This is an important distinction. You can marshal your internal resources (thinking, speaking, and using your body) to create change in the world, i.e. you can manage your actions. Responsibility-wise & time-wise, you have to go to school & each hour ticks by regardless of anything else, but the way you use your internal resources to take action on your commitments over time is the name of the game.

So what you really need is an effective action-management system. Check out GTD:

GTD is a bulletproof way to manage internal commitments, i.e. the stuff you're on the hook for. It does this in two ways:

  1. You create an external, off-your-brain, outside-of-your-head database for capturing your to-do items & managing them. Basically, this means recognizing that your brain is not very good at being a hard drive to store things or a calendar to remember things; our brain is great for coming up with ideas & for getting into the flow of working on things, so you should let your brain do what it's designed to do, instead of using it as a storage device & a reminder machine.
  2. You convert those to-do items into "next-action" items & put them in the appropriate "buckets" (i.e. a grocery store list for what you need to buy at the store, a list of things to do at school, a list of things to do at home, and so on). This way, you have now created options for things that you can immediately take action on & actually do right away, instead of procrastinating on.

A lot of procrastination comes from simply not knowing what to do next in any given situation. GTD resolves that by:

  1. Giving you a list of next-actions you can physically execute in any given situation.
  2. Giving you a four-step process on how to choose what action to take in the moment.
  3. Saving reminders of those next-actions into the right list (ex. home, work, school, grocery store, calendar, etc.) so that you know what your options are in any given situation (aka "context" - your work context, your school context, etc.).
  4. Having a checklist to convert stuff you capture into next-action items
  5. Having a capture device to jot down all of the stuff you're on the hook for (ex. taking notes at school so that you know what your homework assignments are when you get home).
  6. Making sure that you are 100% captured, that you have EVERYTHING written down that you are on the hook for, so that you don't have any stress at all about forgetting stuff or wondering if you're missing anything.
  7. This creates a "trusted system" that is off your mind & outside of your head, so your brain can give up the job of tracking everything. When you try to track everything mentally, or perhaps use incomplete tools like post-it notes or various apps, it's easy to blow a fuse & go engage in some avoidance behavior because you're on mental information overload. With GTD, you'll be working off a complete (100% captured) list of next-actions by context, i.e. if you're at home, what are you supposed to be doing? Homework, chores, etc. - you'll have a list of things you can actually DO!

Effective time management really just means doing your work first and playing later, and to do your work using an effective action-management system. GTD is the most effective action-management system I'm aware of; it has a bulletproof, complete, A to Z system available for you to use. It's not easy to learn, but if you bother to put in the time & really adopt it as a lifestyle, then you'll have an extremely strong productivity foundation in place for the rest of your life, not just high school!

How to stay productive in extreme cold? [R]

5 months agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
Jan. 30, 2019

Hi guys! I'm in the part of the midwest, USA suffering from -50F windchill, so needless to say, it's really cold out. It's been cold and miserable all week, and it's making studying difficult, especially since I'm staying home all day today (I don't feel like getting frostbite within 5 minutes).

How do you all stay productive when you'd rather curl up and watch TV all day?

5 months agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
Jan. 30, 2019

GTD is the foundation of my personal productivity system, and is basically a workflow that enables you to be productive whenever you want, even when you're stuck at home on a horribly cold day. GTD stands for "Getting Things Done", as taught in this book:

Basically, everyone has to deal with the same five steps in order to get anything done:

  1. You need to capture a reminder of the task, because obviously we can't do everything all at once, haha!
  2. You need to clarify the task in order to figure out what you need to do about it; your job here is basically to convert the "to-do" item into an actionable item, so that you can actually do something about it. As humans, we can only do specific things, not vague things, so we need to do this conversion process of taking ideas & turning them into actionable tasks.
  3. You need to organize those action items by sticking them in the correct useful list - "buy milk" goes on your shopping list, for example
  4. You need to review those lists as needed so that you're staying on top of things
  5. You need to execute the action items when appropriate

GTD is basically the magic bullet for how to convert your intentions into reality. Basically, your brain works in a certain way, and the better you understand how it works & then setup tools to help you manage your to-do's using your brain, the more effective you can become.

One of the things our brains do is track every commitment that we take on. So you basically have an internal commitment tracker, your subconscious, that is trying to deal with remembering everything you're on the hook for. Have you ever been laying down to go to sleep and then been like ah crap, I totally forgot to do (insert whatever)! So part one of GTD is externalizing all of that tracking, so that your brain doesn't need to do that job anymore. Externalizing it also gives you a 100% reliable memory system because then you don't risk forgetting've written it down! Whether that's in a notepad or an app or whatever is up to you.

Another problem our subconscious has is that it creates internal resistance to vague stuff. It basically perceives those things as "hard", which turns into things like mental fatigue & not wanting to think about stuff. Aside from jotting everything down that you gotta & wanna do, your job is also to convert those captured to-do items into action items. So this may be your capture list:

  • Do homework
  • Clean up house
  • Do laundry

But that capture list would then be converted into this list of next-actions to take:

  • Do 25 math problems on page 332 of the textbook, per the syllabus schedule
  • Write 2 pages of my 20-page essay, due at the end of the month
  • Take out the kitchen trash
  • Load the dishwasher & run it
  • Run my white clothes in the washing machine in the morning
  • Switch the white clothes into the dryer in the afternoon

So that's an example of the first two steps of the GTD process right there:

  1. Capturing what you need to do
  2. Clarifying what you need to do into actionable steps

"Cleaning up the house" = ugh! But taking out the kitchen trash, well, I can DO that! If you're forcing your brain to track everything, and if you're forcing your brain to deal with undefined, vague tasks, then you're going to have a lot of mental fatigue & aversion to being productive because your conscious brain isn't designed to deal with that stuff. It's really good at two things in particular:

  1. Thinking up ideas
  2. Focusing & working on one thing at a time

It's fun to read & explore & discover & watch new things & enjoy things, and it's also fun to single-task & really focus on whatever you're working on & really get into the flow or the zone, you know? Have you ever played an exciting video game for hours & hours, or surfed reddit into the wee hours of the night, or been totally transfixed by a compelling movie?

The same thing happens when we get over that productivity hump with stuff we "have" to do as once you get started on those 25 math problems, the first few are a pain, but then you kind of get into the rhythm of it & burn through it because you've allowed your brain to do what it does best - coming up with ideas & working on specific things!

It's a small change, to externalize & define things, but it's a huge life-changing event for most people to adopt the GTD approach & actually be 100% on top of EVERYTHING in their lives. Note that that doesn't mean you're DOING everything, just that you're tracking it all & making decisions on it all - part of GTD includes things like a someday/maybe list, for stuff that sounds pretty cool, but that maybe you don't have the time or money for right now.

Again, this all goes back to how your subconscious brain works - it tracks every commitment you make & it really doesn't wanna push through vague tasks, but loves being "clear" (because you're tracking everything externally) & loves focusing on stuff (aka picking a next action & getting started on it & either getting it done or getting into the "zone" of single-tasking on that project).

So GTD is the backbone of my personal productivity system, which is what I use when I want to force myself to be productive. I work off a list of next-actions, which is huge, because my brain is off the hook for tracking all of that stuff & for trying to mentally figure out the next-actions for all of that stuff, which just makes me not want to do anything, haha! I will warn you that the book is dense, but the system itself is very easy to manage once you get it setup!

What does productivity look like? [R]

5 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
Jan. 17, 2019

I feel like I have an extremely unhealthy view of productivity. I feel bad every moment I’m not working. Even if I should be doing something else, or if I’ve burnt out my brain to the point that it is no longer capable of doing work, I feel like I should be working. Even right now. I don’t see myself as productive even though I worked all day, because I took breaks. I want to be a machine.

5 months, 2 weeks agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
Jan. 18, 2019

Right now I’m not using anything. I also have a problem of keeping everything in my head, which usually translates into me staying up in bed for way too long planning things out for each project, and then being unable to work at an optimal level the next day because of the “insomnia.”

Oh yeah, classic situation! Lots of things happen because of this:

  1. You visualize it all & then forget exactly what to do, because you've got so much on your mind
  2. You try to hold it all in your head & feel the pressure of all of that stuff & then doing any individual task just feels squirrely because you've got the weight of the universe on your mind, so it's hard to really just pick one thing & focus & not just quit as soon as the first barrier comes up
  3. The two things you bring to the Task Battle are (1) your energy, and (2) an individual, pre-selected, clearly-defined next-action to execute. The GTD productivity system takes care of figuring out what to do, but if you show up tired, then you're in for a fight!

Maybe I’ll try the 1:1s again but with a different structure. Do you have any recommendations?

Contrary to what you think would make sense, I'd actually suggest starting at the ground level of managing your current tasks, rather than trying to figure out what to do with your life & all of your projects & everything, because that's an easy way to fall into a holding pattern. Can't get anything done because you haven't figured life out yet! So flip the script & try attacking it from a commitments-level approach first.

The first thing I'd suggestion doing is buying a copy of the GTD book:

Personal suggestions: I don't recommend the audiobook, as the book is fairly dense & wordy. The Kindle version is on sale for $1.99 right now, but I prefer a paper copy because then it's something physical I can hold in my hands & flip through & not get distracted when reading in a browser or whatever. Also makes it really easy to flip back & forth for reference as you read through it, rather than having to bookmark stuff on an e-ink Kindle or tablet.

GTD is basically the magic bullet for how to get things done. The whole idea is very simple:

  1. Dump all of the crap in your head into an external system. That's the first big key - stop using your brain as a school locker. Use a paper-based or digital-based system to hold everything (I use Todoist, Google Calendar, and Google Drive).
  2. Use the GTD workflow to take stuff you have to do or want to do from the vague "I need to do this" state into "here is the literal physical next action that I can actually do, right now" state. These are called "next-actions". Your job is then to work off a written, typed, or printed next-actions list - not from all that stuff floating around your head!
  3. Stick reminders of those next-actions onto either a calendar, if it's like an appointment or something, or onto a list. You might have a work list, a home list, and a grocery list, for example.

This creates a system where you NEVER FORGET ANYTHING! It also creates a system that empties out your brain into an off-brain database so that you are relieved of the job of trying to keep track of everything & figure it out all in your head. Instead, you jot down whatever to-do item pops into your head, and then clarify it at some point during the day into a "next-action", and either do it right away, or else stick it on a list or a calendar to remind you to do in the future.

That's it! That's the whole system! (well, in summary anyway) Be warned that the book itself is hefty & can be a real bear to get through & actually adopt. It helps if you have someone to do it with you (like have your mom be your "sponsor" to make sure you get setup and up & running, instead of letting the project of adopting GTD drift into the island of unfinished projects).

Right now I’m not using anything.

So this is where the gamechanger is: if you cannot state, with perfect clarity, exactly how you get stuff done, then that means you are in need of a solid system that does enable you to reliably get things done. If you're just a generally organized & highly-energetic person, then you can probably power through anything & be just fine, but the rest of us need some additional help & structure in our lives to take all of our good ideas & our responsibilities & be able to actually make progress & finish things.

So I'd suggest starting with GTD. Pick up a copy, start reading it, start posting questions! Developing your own personal productivity system is an amazingly powerful thing to have in your life. Most people don't have one, and most people don't accomplish their dreams or do anything much beyond going to work or school & then coming home. But the secrets to productivity & success are out there, if you're willing to learn!

Any good project management books? [R]

8 months, 1 week agoTrustButVerifyEng posted submission on MEPEngineering.
Oct. 24, 2018

Hi guys. I have been in the industry about 5.5 years now, all with 3 different but very small firms. I was just hired as Sr. mechanical at a mid size firm. The job requires quite a bit of project management. I am wondering if anyone has any good book recommendations(or other resources) on PM.

My last firm was extremely small- literally just me and the principal.

I am now the PM on at least 4 different projects, managing small teams that I never had to deal with before.

8 months, 1 week agoTrustButVerifyEng posted comment on MEPEngineering.
Oct. 24, 2018

Not PM specifically, but generally a good book an keeping track of many things. Called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

GTD Or the Eisenhower matrix? [R]

8 months, 2 weeks agoGamegenorator posted submission on productivity.
Oct. 17, 2018

So I've been wonder which one you use and why, GTD? The Eisenhower matrix? Something else? What do you use for managing your todo list?

8 months, 2 weeks agoGamegenorator posted comment on productivity.
Oct. 18, 2018

Joe Rogan Experience #1169 - Tony Stark IRL (Elon Musk) [R]

9 months, 4 weeks agoAmator posted submission on JordanPeterson.
Sept. 7, 2018
9 months, 3 weeks agoAmator posted comment on JordanPeterson.
Sept. 11, 2018

H.I. #39: Getting Things Done — Hello Internet [R]

9 months, 4 weeks agoSept. 8, 2018

LPT: at least every few month, do a review of your life and think about the actions you should take to better it by asking yourself a few questions. [R]

11 months, 2 weeks agolehtal posted submission on LifeProTips.
July 19, 2018


11 months, 2 weeks agolehtal posted comment on LifeProTips.
July 19, 2018

Didn’t Grey adapt a fair of methods outlined in Getting Things Done ? Someday I’ll finish reading it...

JapanesePod101 premium question [R]

11 months, 3 weeks agohenrymatt posted submission on LearnJapanese.
July 13, 2018

I want to subscribe to them, however, there are times in my life where I sometimes just have to drop everything and deal with stuff. It might take a short or longer period of times.

That's why I wondered if Basic subscription allows me to download the entire lesson on my PC via "My feed". The subscription descriptions werent clear enough for me about this.

I just don't want to pay for a month and not even listen to a single lesson.

11 months, 3 weeks agohenrymatt posted comment on LearnJapanese.
July 13, 2018

Forgive the unsolicited advice, but I suggest you make productive routines and time management a priority if this is a stumbling block for you. You can make massive progress by carving out 30 minutes of uninterrupted time a day to study Japanese (or anything). And it's a far more healthy and sustainable method than binging on study at some later date. I highly recommend the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.

How do you guys explain your ADHD? [R]

11 months, 4 weeks agodi0spyr0s posted submission on ADHD.
July 9, 2018

My family can't really understand what my ADHD means sometimes, so I tried to explain it to them in different ways.

My favorite metaphor so far:

A normal mind is like the shelfs in a store. It's sorted by catergories, so when you want bread, you know where to look and when you want clothes, you know where to find them, too. Sure, you might find a single random broccoli in the pasta-section, but usually everything is in order and you don't have to search long for a thought.

My mind, unmedicated, is like a big box during black friday. Literally everything is thrown in there together and while looking for a special thing, I have to rummage through 100 other things and find at least 20 things that are interesting so I forget wtf I was looking for in the first place.

Now, with medication (I'm about halfway to the dosage I will need in the end), the things are still in big boxes, but they are sorted by colour - Sure, rubber ducks, bananas and yellow paint are still in the same box, but it's so much easier to determine where I have to look.

... I know, I have weird metaphors, but this one even helped me understand myself better, and my family said it helped them as well.

So - how do YOU explain your ADHD?

11 months, 4 weeks agodi0spyr0s posted comment on ADHD.
July 9, 2018

Getting Things Done

It’s an excellent book. I read it about once a year to remind myself to write shit down and improve my systems and habits so I don’t have to remember shit all the time.

Can anyone suggest me books about how to develop/control interest and attention/focus/concentration? [R]

11 months, 4 weeks agoMattTheFlash posted submission on BettermentBookClub.
July 9, 2018
11 months, 4 weeks agoMattTheFlash posted comment on BettermentBookClub.
July 9, 2018

How to stay organized/time management/etc? [R]

12 months agoAmator posted submission on ENFP.
July 6, 2018

ENFPs are not known for their time management and productivity skills. I keep finding myself remembering tasks that i should have done 2 weeks ago; I've been trying to find a system that i can stick with but have yet to find anything that works for more than a week. Do you guys use planners/journals to keep track of tasks? Online solutions? HELP!

12 months agoAmator posted comment on ENFP.
July 6, 2018

I've been chasing this dragon for a couple of decades now. My results have gotten better over time, but never perfect. My conscientiousness rating is low, but grown a lot of the years, which is normal for human development.

A lot of people are suggesting various techniques like Pomodoro, KonMari, 7Habits, etc. They're all good, but they tend to appeal differently to various people. Personally, I think of organization like weight loss - there are a lot of various methods that can get you to end goal, but some work better for others, even though they all operate on the principle of operating under a caloric deficit.

Before cracking open any recommended books/blogs, I think you should be able to answer these questions about yourself:
1. Do I prefer to keep track of things using analog systems (pen and paper, notebooks, wall calendars), digital apps, or a combination of both?
2. Do I need to also work on organizing with my SO/children/roommate/etc? If so, I should know what system works best for them.
3. Am I the type of person who needs to start with one small improvement at a time and continue to add in new habits, or do I need to jump off the dock and learn to sink or swim by going all-in with a new organizational philosophy?
4. Am I happy with how I spend my days, the times I get up/go to bed, my ratio of work to desired activity to mindless internet/video. Is this something I need to think about changing?
5. What are the three biggest areas of focus that I need to work on first? Dayjob/side-hustle/writing/fitness/spirituality/etc

I think you should answer those five questions and then go visit a library or bookstore and browse through the books that have already been recommended and see what clicks with you. I would add these to the list:
* Getting Things Done - this is a classic book on the subject. It can be a little dated, as it was written for business executives in the late 90s when people had to push around more paper than they do now, but the philosophy behind the examples is still extremely relevant. So much of the later works in the genre are derivative of this one that it's worth time to at least scan this one.
* Tools for Titans this is am omnibus of all the tips/tricks that dozens of guests on Tim's podcast have given over the years, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Jamie Foxx, Alexis Ohanian, and tons of others. Great to flip through.

Good luck. You'll probably have a big burst of output as you buy a book, read it, and establish a system, but soon the newness will wear from the idea and you might abandon it or try to go back to the well and pick another and start all over. Give yourself permission to fail because every time you improve and then fail, you're failing back to a better place than where you were before. Just keep plugging along, and you'll get more organized, but perhaps never as much as those who have personality types more focused on conscientiousness.

Hyperfocus, blessing and a curse [R]

1 year agokaidomac posted submission on ADHD.
June 20, 2018

Moving out in a couple of weeks so figured I start packing early. Found a simple sewing kit that I never used. Always wanted to tailor my clothes. While sorting through the closet I found a t-shirt that was too big. "Huh let me just fix this, how hard can it be".

Got a shirt that was the right size for comparison and looked up how to sew basic stitches.

That was 9 hours ago. 9 HOURS. I sat there and worked on sewing that t-shirt the entire time. I didn't eat lunch or dinner, I didn't get up to pee, I didn't get water. I sewed that shirt for 9 straight hours. The worst part is I only managed to attach one of the shoulder sleeves and stitched close only one side. The stitch is also crap for my first time.

I think what kept me going was that its a new task, a challenge. Honestly those stereotypical grandmas sewing in the rocking chair got it going on, because this was pretty meditative and fun.

1 year agokaidomac posted comment on ADHD.
June 21, 2018

Yup. Book is available for $12 here or used for a few dollars:

I personally don't recommend the audiobook (unless you learn well audibly...I don't, I drift off SUPER easily) because it is a lot of dense & wordy information.

I do recommend skimming it & making a mind-map for each section. Do the whole book that way. It takes a few passes to start getting an understanding of how it works. It's simply a reflection of how life works, which is what makes it so powerful - you choose how you want to implement it, but there's an underlying workflow that is key to proper operation. Basically 3 keys:

  1. Write down anything you've gotta do
  2. At least daily, convert those from to-do's to next-actions (there's a flowchart for doing this)
  3. Stick reminders of the next-actions on a list or calendar

It's more detailed than that, but freeing up mental energy is only part of it. It's also partly about 100% tracking all of the junk you're on the hook for & NEVER dropping the ball or "forgetting" anything. It's partly about vaporizing those mental mountains we face that create emotional barriers to doing things - that aversion you feel to taking action, which slides us into avoidance behavior.

It's surprisingly simple to operate, once you get the "machine" going. I compare it to surfing at the ocean: the wave of life keeps knocking us down with to-do's. Learning how to surf takes some practice, but then, anytime you want to, you can hop on a wave & just skim the surface, easily managing the water instead of being overwhelmed by it. GTD handles the management of life's work so that you can focus on the execution of it & actually be motivated to do stuff, instead of feeling like you have to try really hard at everything all day long all the time, lol.

Productive at work, useless at home, are we trying to solve the wrong problem with attempting to be "productive"? [R]

1 year agokaidomac posted submission on productivity.
June 20, 2018

I can be productive at work, but struggle at home and I realised, there isn't really a system I use at work. It's just there is more structure already there.

The choices of what I need to do is made for me and then I just have to do it, so i use whatever system or program in front of me. Be it a spreadsheet, notepad on the computer, a post it note, a piece of paper, I never really stick to anything and every project/task is different but I just do it.

At home, I am trying to find the right app, right system or way of doing it and I just wonder if I (We?) as a person that thinks about productivity has it the wrong way around. Perhaps trying to supplement a system for something else that is missing and wrong, hoping it's the system that will make things happen/get it done, when it's not.

It's maybe more just that we don't really feel like doing it and at work, I do because I have too. Which then makes you wonder how much of this is pointless and if we need to address the underlying problem more than the actual problem we are trying to solve.

1 year agokaidomac posted comment on productivity.
June 21, 2018

>i have been searching for app/system/organizer that will finally get my life together

Here you go:

$2.95 used. I think a more apt title would be "How to really actually for real stay on top of things" lol.


Interested in the GTD method [R]

1 year, 1 month agokaidomac posted submission on gtd.
May 11, 2018

I struggle with staying on task and getting distracted with items that are not as important as some other task. I have done a little reading on the GTD method, but before I spend a bunch of time on trying to learn the process I was hoping to understand how it has changed in other people lives and if the method is the reason. I understand that I am on the GTD site so I assume the answer is it is because of GTD so I just want to understand the biggest benefit. Also, if someone could walk thru how they would handle getting a task done using the method. I would like to apply it to reading the book Getting Things Done, what steps would someone use or is this a bad example?

1 year, 1 month agokaidomac posted comment on gtd.
May 11, 2018

Also, if someone could walk thru how they would handle getting a task done using the method. I would like to apply it to reading the book Getting Things Done, what steps would someone use or is this a bad example?

OK, this is an easy one for me because I just helped a friend get started with GTD. So at a very very very basic level, this is the GTD process for a new task:

  1. What is it?
  2. What is my desired outcome for this task?
  3. What is the very next physical action required to mark this task as complete?

What is it?

GTD is an action-management system that is taught through a book written by David Allen. It teaches you how to be personally productive. If you have problems being organized, staying on-task, and getting things done, this is the book for you.

What is the outcome desired?

The outcome desired is to study the book, learn the system, and implement it into your life so that you can get stuff done like a pro.

What is the very next physical action?

The very next physical action is to purchase a copy of the book so that you can start studying it. I have the audio book, the Kindle book, and the paperback book. I highly recommend the paperback book over the other two versions because you are going to want to flip through it a lot; it is a very dense book and paper is the easiest way to study it, imo. The latest version is available for $12 straight from Amazon via this link: (if budget allows, actually do it - go buy it, right now - this is your very next physical action step required to move your GTD project forward!)

Okay, so there you go - that's an example of how you would walk through getting a task done, at least from a very high level (there's more to GTD, including asking the question of should you be doing this or should it be deleted to someone else, is this is a wishlist item for the future that you want to remember but maybe not do right away, and so on). Nothing has physically changed in the real world (at least, not yet), but you've done a tremendous process of defining a to-do item - you've converted it from something undefined to something actionable: "I want to learn GTD" becomes "I need to purchase the book" - and that will open the door to doing more next-actions related to your project of studying GTD.

Now, expanding on how you would apply it to reading the book - in GTD, there are next-actions, and then there are projects. A project is simply defined as any task that requires more than one next-action item. That's a little bit different from how a project is traditionally defined, but it makes sense, because anything that is going to take more than one step needs to be tracked somehow so that you don't forgot to keep working on it. So as far as creating a book project, this is simply how I would approach it - note that this is not GTD "canon" or anything, it's just the way I personally deal with approaching the study of educational texts:

  1. Create a digital document (Word, Google Docs, whatever). Spend an hour going through the GTD book, page-by-page, and writing down each section heading. When you start studying the book, you will put your notes underneath in bullet points. And that's as complicated as my digital note-taking system gets...I don't make it so fancy that it requires a whole separate system to have to manage. I simply get the book, identify & write down a name for each section (or chapter name, if it's like an "intro" section for the chapter), and then that's "it" for the first next-action required.
  2. Decide on a schedule. If you are really serious about studying it & getting it implemented, then set aside some time every day. This is a 352-page book full of dense information; you are not going to learn it overnight. But, you can learn it over time. You can approach it a couple of ways: first, you can decide to study either a section or a chapter per day, or second, you can pick a time frame to work on it each day, like either 15 minutes or an hour. I personally like the "section a day" approach because I don't have the mental capacity to do an entire chapter a day or to study for a whole hour straight lol. But, I can do a few pages in just one section per day, and some sections are longer (or more wordy) than others & thus take longer (or shorter) depending on the section in question. So for example, you could setup a recurring alarm on your smartphone at lunchtime to study just one section at a time while you eat lunch. Or by context, i.e. after work. Anything so that you know (1) what days you're going to study, and* (2)* when during the day you're going to study.
  3. My procedure for studying a section is to get a piece of paper (notebook is fine) and a pen. I draw a mindmap for each section. So draw a bubble in the middle with the name of the section, and then skim through the section and draw lines out for each concept you see. Then actually read through the section and draw more lines out for the details of each concept. This gives you something physical to actually do to help you download the data into your brain, rather than just staring at the words on the paper. Now, if you're good at studying straight-up, then do it your way & more power to you! But I struggle with studying, so doing a mindmap is a really big help for me.
  4. So you've got your doc file with allllllll of the section titles list. Then you've got your schedule figured out, and now you're working on today's section at your specified study time. Then you create a mindmap for that section as you skim & read through it. So studying pretty much breaks down into two parts: comprehension & memorization. You have to understand it, and you have to remember it (or implement it, if it's something actionable - like in the case of GTD, one of your first projects will be to decide on a capture system, so you need to decide if want to carry around a notepad or maybe have an app on your smartphone, and if so, which app?). The mindmap kind of helps your brain flesh out the comprehension portion of studying. The next step is to convert that mindmap to short notes. That's where you open up your document file and do your bullet points - convert all of the little legs of your mindmap into written notes, line by line, under each section heading. The physical action of doing this will help jog that information through your brain because you've had to both physically draw it out & then digital type it out again. By the time you're done, you will have a nice bullet-point list of all of the important stuff from that section. I've found that this approach works pretty well for me!
  5. As part of my notes, I also write down the "next actions required" as well. GTD is going to have you do various tasks, like setup a workspace with a filing system, get an on-the-fly capture system setup, and so on. You will need to actually DO those things if you want to get your personal GTD system up and running. As you learn more about GTD, you will learn more about how to deal with those next-actions required, so don't fret about this too much, just kind of deal with the implementation as you go through each section. Your goal, as you finish studying the book for the first time eventually, is to be fully implemented by the time you finish the book.

On some quick tangents:

  1. I don't like "big pushes". I don't like instant results, I don't like cramming, I don't like having to work for long hours on something that I don't really want to work on to begin with. It's one thing to spend 6 hours playing a video game to beat a particular level or boss, and it's another thing to try to cram an essay into 6 hours of work the night before it's due. That's why I recommend taking it slow & steady when studying the book. If you are mentally able to read through 300+ pages of comprehensive information within the space of a few days, go for it, but most people start to read it, and then skim it, and then forget about it, and their GTD system never really gets implemented. The best approach, imo, is simply what I outlined above - make a notes docs, decide on a study schedule & setup a reminder for daily progress, and then use a couple studying procedures to burn through each section every day. I mention this because there's a gem of a reddit post called "no more zero days" that talks about exactly this idea - when you're seriously working on something, especially something that is going to fundamentally change your life, like eating a good diet or exercising or going to college or studying GTD, you don't want to rush things - you need that daily, iterative progress to help you grow over time, rather than trying to do it all in one big shot. Read up here:
  2. Aside from going through the physical acts of creating a mindmap & writing out short notes per section, one of the reasons I like ending up with shorts notes is because of the memorization technique I use. This is not required for what you are doing & I am merely mentioning it as a future tool that is neat to look at. Anyway, the system teaches you how to memorize basically anything, and memorize as much data as you want. I have used this since college and it has helped me tremendously. The procedure is not exciting to follow and it does take a fair amount of time, but that time could also be wasted by having your eyes glaze over staring at the textbook or staring at your notes unproductively for hours on end, and this procedure actually gives you results, so if you are willing to buckle down & work through the mundane procedure, it will yield great benefits. Read up here:

Anyway, looping back to the "study the GTD book" project: you'll spend an hour or so typing up the headings, and a few minutes figuring out a schedule, a few seconds to setup a recurring reminder alarm on your phone (or watch, or calendar, or whatever), and then you have a couple procedures (mindmap + short bullet-point notes) for actually buzzing through each section. Over the next few weeks, you'll make tremendous progress through the book and will start to understand how GTD works. So that's how I would approach it, at any rate. Do whatever works best for you, of course - if you have a great personal studying system or a photographic memory or whatever, adapt it to your situation. For me, I absolutely need to break big projects like studying an entire book down into small, bite-sized tasks that I can work on day after day after day, because I just can't absorb that much information that quickly, especially not without getting distracted partway through.

So go buy the book & report back! lol

1 Here are my first thoughts on the Getting Things Done (GTD) system by David Allen [R]

1 year, 2 months agodjgizmo posted submission on productivity.
April 9, 2018

Since the beginning of February I’ve been dipping my toes into the GTD system by productivity consultant David Allen. I was first introduced to this system by Reddit, and eventually became aware of the almost cult-like but widespread following it has. Everyone who is even a little bit into productivity will recommend it, and some even say it’s changed their lives. So of course I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

The thing about GTD is it has a definite learning curve. On the surface, the steps seem to be straightforward, but they are all meant to become personal habits that take time, dedication, and rigorous consistency to develop. There’s also a little bit of stumbling block between reading the theoretical concepts and translating them into your real and messy life. I’ve personally begun this process very, very slowly. In fact, right now, I would say I’m only solidly practicing Step 1 of the system (‘Capture’). But have I been seeing results, in terms of the positive effects on my mental clarity and productivity? I’d say the answer is a resounding yes!

So here are a few GTD lessons that I’ve learnt so far. To the seasoned GTD user, they might seem very basic, but to me, they’ve been truly transformative ideas.

The mind is for having ideas, not holding them

This is the central theory in GTD. The mind is an incredibly creative machine, bursting out ideas at random intervals throughout the day. There’s no rhyme or reason to how it does this, so they can vary from ‘buy my brother’s birthday present’ to ‘I really need new shoes!’ to ‘here’s a great plot idea for a fantasy novel’. The mind also knows no boundaries, so you might be thinking about personal stuff at work, and vice versa. So the question is, how do you gain the most out of the way our minds naturally work?

David Allen’s answer is: you must capture. You must have some kind of tool that’s at your disposal, that you can faithfully use to record all of these crazy ideas. Equally important is having a faithful system where we process and clarify these ideas, but those steps come later.

Such a simple concept, but truly life-changing. Most of us go about our day with these thoughts clanking around in our heads. They come and they go, we witness them, but we don’t take any action (unless those thoughts are loud enough to give us anxiety). But taking out a notebook that you keep by you at all times and dumping them, as they come, into it, takes advantage of the way our minds work. I’ve personally been using a trusty orange notebook I got for free at a Colombo fair. Now, not only have I got into the habit of writing my reminders and to-dos into it, but any kind of planning, notes, ideas, brainstorming gets recorded as well. The result? The beautiful freedom of a clutter-free mind.

A clutter-free mind is a happy mind

Most of us understand the importance of decluttering our homes, but I’d never really thought about having a systematic process of decluttering my mind.

The simple act of recording, capturing my thoughts down on paper, frees up my mind substantially. Not only does this eliminate the junk so that it can do the work it’s actually good at, like being creative and planning and synthesising, it also makes me feel lighter and free. And a free mind is a happy mind. All the to-dos and pressing errands, let my notebook take care of it! I don’t have to remember a single thing.

Time to reflect helps progress

Most of our lives are sadly marked with passivity. We go through our daily routines, not taking the time to pause and reflect. We have all these wonderful creative ideas, but we do nothing with them. We postpone our dreams and big life goals to a ‘someday’ without realising that all of them depends on taking action today. It’s like all the people out there that want to write a book, someday, and they truly believe that the someday will come, but of course it never does.

Reflection is a huge part of GTD, and I love that it is. David Allen says this is about the big picture, where we’re starting to think about questions like: ‘what is the purpose of my life?’, ‘what are my core values?’, ‘what is my vision?’.

Deep yes, but it’s so, so important. GTD is ultimately about being proactive, where you’re moving forward, bit by bit, in making a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. This comes down to making a habit of having the space and time to think critically about the way you’re life is going, and what you can do to move it forward. Whether that’s a weekly reflection, a monthly reflection or a yearly reflection, it helps a lot in putting things into perspective.

1 year, 2 months agodjgizmo posted comment on productivity.
April 9, 2018

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

It’s a book, that’s popular with a lot of managers and small business owners. It can be applied to a lot of people.

1 year, 5 months agoMyOtherAccount_3 posted submission on ThreadGames.
Jan. 19, 2018
1 year, 5 months agoMyOtherAccount_3 posted comment on ThreadGames.
Jan. 19, 2018

Leadership books [R]

1 year, 6 months agoghost_of_napoleon posted submission on k12sysadmin.
Dec. 31, 2017

What are some leadership books that you have read that has changed the way you work?

1 year, 6 months agoghost_of_napoleon posted comment on k12sysadmin.
Jan. 1, 2018

For the time management side of things, I like "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

I haven't really followed the prescription that he offers, but instead I've taken a lot of the principles that he teaches and used them.

For me, the best thing I've taken from it is the 'mind dump', or what he calls 'capturing', which is essentially taking every thought or idea you have and jotting them down somewhere that you can reliably return to and process the item. If it takes less than two minutes, do it now (another great principle), otherwise process it into other departments.

Another thing I've taken from it, which seems especially pertinent in K12sysadmin stuff, is getting "next actions" and "clarifying outcomes". I find in our meetings at our district that oftentimes these don't get defined very well and it inevitably turns into another two or three meetings (bleh). I'm not the boss, so while I can't implement those ideas, I can take the concepts and figure out what it means to me.

Anyways, great book worth picking up!

Scared of what our DB means for our future [R]

1 year, 7 months agofigpucker posted submission on DeadBedrooms.
Nov. 19, 2017

Hi, I've been lurking for a little while but this is my first post. I'm HLF (29) married to LLM (31) for 3 years. Together for 7 years and two beautiful children together. I love him very much. Here is the back story to our Db. He started his own business 6 years ago with my full backing and support and it has never been easy. He will be the first to admit that he can't switch off from work and that stress really affects his sex drive. Before the business and even in the first couple of years of it our sex life was great and our libidos compatible but over time it's lowered to once a week, then once a month and now we can go 3 months or more without it. He is very loving and affectionate in other ways. Tells me he loves me every day, that I'm beautiful etc... but I really miss that connection and intimacy with him. We can be so distant without it. I guess it's hard because he is a wonderful husband and dad. And I know he is building this business for us to have a better future. But his lack of desire for me is really affecting my confidence. I feel so unattractive and like he doesn't look at me as more than a mum anymore. We have talked about it many time over the years and I'm wondering if I should try and accept that this is the way he is and try to accept it. I don't want to leave him as I know he loves me and I very much love him but it's a different type of love for me now and that scares me. I'm sorry for rambling I don't even know if my post makes any sense but I just feel so lonely x

1 year, 7 months agofigpucker posted comment on DeadBedrooms.
Nov. 19, 2017

> he can't switch off from work and that stress really affects his sex drive.

He needs to fix this. If it's destroying his sex drive to the point that it's threatening your marriage, it's undoubtedly harming him in other ways too. I mean, I completely empathize to a point... I'm one of those people who has an impossible time switching off from work, and it's had many negative and positive consequences in my life. And I've started multiple businesses. While none have specifically resulted in a drag on sex drive for me, the overload from doing this has caused me to neglect various important aspects of my personal life in different ways at different times.

Most of the rest of the sub may want to tune the rest of this reply out, but, /u/lonelybutinlove, please keep reading, digest, and relay this advice to your husband. If I'd gotten this figured out sooner it would have made a big difference for me. Again, not sex-related in my case, but it's a cure for that nasty problem of not switching off causing you to neglect important personal stuff.

I know this isn't the topic of this sub, but I'd bet a handsome sum it has a ton to do with your situation.

He needs to establish a system where his brain is only responsible for doing, not retaining. It depends heavily on the person, naturally, but as a group our brains are good at picking up our next task, solving a small problem, and checking it off. We're not (globally) good at retaining the pile of junk we have to do in order to accomplish the larger project that problem is part of. When we keep too much of that in our head, we suffer in multiple ways. First, the need to keep state causes us to need to stay focused on the project(s) even when we shouldn't. You're seeing fallout from that. Second, it makes us less effective at knocking out those individual tasks. Third, because we're not really that good at keeping accurate state, we lose track of some of those tasks and need to panic to complete them. It adds up to create a big ball of stress that detracts from work and personal stuff alike, though we usually compensate to make sure that work stuff suffers less because, y'know, we need to feed our families.

The way out of this soup is to put together a system you can trust completely for tracking what your next steps are and for getting them in front of you when they need to be. When you can trust your system completely for the planning crap, you can only be "plugged in" to the thing currently in front of you. Other things come up, you funnel them into your system and keep going with the thing at hand. Your system is better at handling the planning/tracking/prioritization than your brain is, and freeing your brain from maintaining that state makes you better at whatever's in front of you. Be that work, personal, etc. When your system is reliable, you can decide to switch off from work without stressing because you know that the next time you look at your system, you've got the next thing you need to focus on in front of you.

That's a hasty summary. The thing to read to really understand this point is David Allen's Getting Things Done. It's an easy read and not a new book. Practically any public library will have it available, and it's easy to find and not very expensive. This book explains the principles of the system and gives many practical suggestions. It's completely agnostic about what tools you might use to implement the system. For me, the thing that's really made it seamless was The Secret Weapon Manifesto which tells about how to use Evernote and your calendar, in great detail, to put the Getting Things Done system in practice.

It's not a hard system to implement. And once you have it to the point where you can trust it to keep track of the things you need to do so that you don't have to devote precious mental capacity to that, it's like a fog lifts. And with that a whole pile of stress just goes away. As a bonus you get better both at your job and at maintaining all those things you need to maintain in your personal life.

Sorry if this isn't directly responsive to your post. I just see some parts of myself in how you describe your husband, and having some system is the key to fixing those parts. It doesn't matter if it's this system... though this is a good and easy one. But it needs to be one he can trust. This will knock out a ton of stress. I bet that helps him prioritize things you and your family need. If it doesn't, there's something else going on too, but you'll both like the improvement you'll see if you can get him on board with this, and it'll free up brain power to tackle whatever else might be in the way. Getting a good system lets you keep the positive consequences of being driven but gain the benefits from being able to switch off.

[Method], one of the best sites on how to use the 'Getting Things Done' method in combination with Evernote, sadly went offline. I saved a PDF of their manifesto if anyone is interested. [R]

1 year, 7 months agokestry posted submission on getdisciplined.
Nov. 7, 2017

Here is a link.

Don't know why the site went offline, but godaddy is auctioning the domain so it seems that it wont go online again.

GTD together with Evernote is overkill, seriously. Follow the tutorial and try it for a couple weeks, you will not be disappointed.

E: Accidentally shared a version where I highlighted some text already. Should be fixed with a clean copy now.

1 year, 7 months agokestry posted comment on getdisciplined.
Nov. 8, 2017

Get Things Done by David Allen. Link is to the newer edition, don't know if that makes a difference.

[NeedAdvice] I constantly wait until the last minute to do my work and end up staying late all the time. [R]

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted submission on getdisciplined.
Oct. 24, 2017

Every time I get home from school I am tired. I do not want to do any work. I will get on the computer and play games or watch youtube. I will finish my homework as I play video games; however, when I have a project or essay due, I feel like there is too much work to do and I'll just play games. I end up doing them at night. The pressure causes me to finish them but I'm tired for the next day. Just like that, the process repeats itself everyday. How do I hold myself from playing video games? I mainly play counter-strike competitive. I feel little joy when playing it, but I keep wanting to play it all the time to up my rank. When I get home I can't wait to play it. My life can't go on like this. Help! :(

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted comment on getdisciplined.
Oct. 25, 2017

I've been spamming this sub all day with GTD, but I'll sing it again - the "Getting Things Done" system is what helped me deal with that exact same problem:

One of the big things it teaches you is how to break projects down into next actions. So rather than "writing a paper", you approach it as a project & break it down into individual steps. So then your next actions are stuff like "choose a topic" and "write one paragraph", which are easy to do because they are literally the very next physical actions required to move the project forward, instead of the more menacing "WRITE A GIANT PAPER" task, haha.

You don't need to give up playing video games for hours (unless you, uh, want to), you just need a system that helps you define your work, break it down into easy steps, and then take care of those commitments FIRST so you can enjoy guilt-free play time. My first year in college, I would go to class, do my homework, get home, and play CS until like two in the morning lol. But my work got done FIRST so that gaming wasn't avoidance behavior, it was my fun time. Playing video games is awesome, but playing video games when you're haunted by the guilt of the crap you're avoiding kind of sours the experience.

[NeedAdvice] I can't not procrastinate and I hate myself for it. -college student [R]

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted submission on getdisciplined.
Oct. 25, 2017

I don’t know how to get anything done without procrastinating, and doing this makes me so mad at myself.

I’m a junior in college, and it’s not that I’m so lazy that I never get things done. I do get things done, but only when it’s the night before/super last minute/when I have no other choice. I’ve been able to get away with this because I’m fairly smart so I’m able to get high grades despite the fact that I do everything last minute.

However, doing things this way makes me so unhappy and I tell myself every day that I’m going to change. My work would be of much better quality if I were to do it further in advance, and I get into a constant cycle of self-loathing because of my habits. All of my friends seem so disciplined and are always studying or writing papers several nights or even weeks before they are due. They’re so motivated and I don’t know how, and I hate myself for not being like them.

I’m not sure why, but I truly dread schoolwork and any other hard tasks (like applying for jobs/internships), and therefore I just fill up my time on my phone or on the internet or procrastinating in some other way until I have no other choice. I would much rather get things done in advance or at least do them little by little each day, rather than putting things off and wasting my time doing meaningless/somewhat enjoyable things on the internet with the constant nagging feeling that I should be doing something else.

How do I get over the dread of difficult tasks? Why do I feel like I physically can’t work on something until I HAVE to?

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted comment on getdisciplined.
Oct. 25, 2017

What you are missing is a way to deal with it. I spent way too many years in college living exactly how you are now. This is what saved me:

The GTD system teaches you how to break things down into management next-actions. It's not a list of 20 things that will change your life. It's not a motivational poster. It's a step-by-step system for learning how to plow through things. It's the best anti-procrastination system I've ever found. Be warned: it is hard to adopt, yet easy to do. There is definitely a rite-of-passage involved with learning the system & implementing it 100%. But it's worth it! This whole lifestyle of living with that constant, overwhelming pressure just completely evaporates & goes away forever, as long as you stay on top of the system every day. Literally life-changing.

The other thing I did was come up with procedures for everything, like how to write a paper. I've aced every single paper I've written since doing that.

[NeedAdvice] Busy college students, what are your schedules like? Wanting to create some more structure in my life! [R]

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted submission on getdisciplined.
Oct. 24, 2017

I started waking up at 6-630am over the past couple weeks, and am really wanting to create some more structure in my life (I definitely to incorporate a study schedule).

I work about 20 hours a week, I’m enrolled in 14 credit hours, and I’m also the president of a student group and a member of another. I do like to work out when I free time as well.

Unfortunately, I always feel like I’m a rush or behind in I’d really like to start managing my time better! And maybe find some time to get out every once in a while.

I’d love any tips or advice anyone may have! I currently use to do lists and planners, but I feel like once I got behind this semester I’ve been stuck ever since...and I’m just not sure how to balance everything, and space out my study time each day (I like to procrastinate and jam in everything last minute) so examples of schedules could be helpful!

1 year, 8 months agokaidomac posted comment on getdisciplined.
Oct. 25, 2017

GTD = "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. It's an action-management system as taught in this book:

It boils down to a workflow that you customize to your preferences. The workflow is simple:

  1. Capture 100% of everything

  2. Process it (what's the outcome desired, and what's the very next physical action to take?)

  3. Organize it (stick it on your calendar, or on a list of next-actions, etc.)

  4. Review it (go over your list every day to make sure you're focused on the important stuff, review your plans every week, etc.)

  5. Do it (execute the next-actions as necessary)

The core idea is to get everything out of your head & written down so you don't ever lose anything. Then you go through the workflow process on a regular (daily) basis. It's not rocket science, but most people don't do all five parts, so stuff falls through the cracks & you get stressed out & you procrastinate. It also helps when doing project planning because it breaks it down into actionable steps instead of a giant, hard project.

Cool [R]

1 year, 9 months agogordo65 posted submission on AdviceAnimals.
Sept. 13, 2017
1 year, 9 months agogordo65 posted on AdviceAnimals.
Sept. 14, 2017

I would start looking around for another job right now. Getting promoted makes you more hireable, and it seems that the job they've given you is impossible to do properly. You're overstressed now just trying to stay afloat, which is probably the same thing your former boss went through before giving up.

For now, your two best friends are prioritization and time management. Make sure you have a good idea of which tasks are most important and most urgent, so you're not wasting time on things that aren't important, won't be noticed, or which won't be important until a long time from now.

And learn to manage your time better. Almost everyone can and should get better at time management. Do you ever feel like you'd like to stop time for 2 hours a day, just so you could use that time to catch up on things? Better time management can get you those two hours a day.

Any advice on remembering what I have to do? [R]

1 year, 11 months agoAug. 6, 2017

I'm a super busy person (like most people are) and I'm really struggling with keeping track of everything I have to do. I've tried a bullet journal, that didn't work. I've tried notebooks, apps, reminders, calendars, planners... Nothing really sticks. Any advice on what could work? What works for others? I'm really at a loss here!

1 year, 11 months agokaidomac posted on DecidingToBeBetter.
Aug. 6, 2017

The best system I have ever found for keeping track of 100% everything is GTD:

It is not easy to learn, but it does cover the entire A to Z spectrum of getting your act together. It requires a lot of studying from the book, setting things up, and adopting new habits. It boils down to a few core ideas:

  1. Capture every single commitment you make to yourself or others
  2. Process those commitment into actionable items by asking "what's the outcome desired?" and "what's the very next physical action required?" for every single captured commitment.
  3. Sort those into appropriate places so that you will, without fail, remember to do them

I mean, that's all there really is to it, right? You get a task, you figure out what needs to be done, and then you remind yourself to do it. Simple example: you are running low on milk. You capture "buy milk" into your system (paper notebook, app, doesn't matter). When you do your sorting process (multiple times a day), you put that into your Shopping List. The next time you go to the store, you see "buy milk" on there and voila, you've completed that commitment. Applying this to everything in your life is literally life-changing. NOTHING ever again falls through the cracks, gets lost, or gets forgotten.

The system is also extremely clear about how you use a calendar. Calendars are considered sacred space. Only appointments go there, not to-do lists. Everything else is managed by context...stuff you do at work, stuff you do at home, stuff you do at the grocery store, and so on. That way, all of your commitments are not only clarified, but presented back to yourself as ready-to-act-on tasks in the appropriate context.

The recent metaphor I've been using is that it's equivalent to surfing: the ocean of "stuff" is going to be pounding waves on you relentless until you die. You can either get pummeled by those waves, or you can effortlessly ride the crest of the wave & stay on top of things on a daily basis. And once you've really, truly learned how GTD works, even if you "fall off the board", you can easily get back on and get back to staying on top of things, so even if you have an off day or take vacation or just get burned out, it's not a hopeless cause.

Again, be warned, it is a hefty system to adopt. Lots of new habits & things to learn, and it takes awhile to really "get" the whole entire picture, but once you do, it's so awesome & so simple that you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. That's just from my experience, growing up under-achieving & struggling with undiagnosed ADHD. It is possible to get on top of things & stay on top of them, and also get back into things when you fall off the wagon. David Allen has it figured out!

A more advanced reminders app (macOS and iOS) [R]

1 year, 11 months agoJuly 26, 2017


I've started using the default reminders app on my mac a lot since I have a lot of upcoming projects during my last year of uni. Sadly, I find the application a bit barebones. I'd like to be able to add some notes and maybe sub reminders to a reminder.

This would be an example of what I'd like to be able to do where the default reminders app falls a bit short:

  • Send an application to the Smithsonian institute


  • Email boss about letter of recommendation

  • Email professor about letter of recommendation

  • Application due X october 2017 (reminder 1 week before)

  • Tidy up resume

  • Finish cover letter

Section for comments: Lists of emails to teachers/colleagues needed, information about dates, websites and comments from friends or colleagues.

Thanks for any recommendations!

1 year, 11 months agomacontrack posted on mac.
July 26, 2017

List of popular task managers:

Omnifocus is the most expensive, but also the app with the most depth, functionality and support. You appear to not have gone down the rabbit hole of GTD and more advanced task management, so a subscription based application might be more suitable for you at this stage.

Randia how did you discipline yourself? [R]

2 years agoJune 6, 2017


2 years agoplanktic posted on india.
June 6, 2017

Read this book: Getting Things Done. It will change the way you perceive and interact with life!

General Discussion - April 14, 2017 [R]

2 years, 2 months agomechanical_birds posted submission on femalefashionadvice.
April 14, 2017

In this thread, you can talk about whatever the hell you want. Talk about style, ask questions, talk about life, do whatever. Vent. Meet the community. It will be like IRC (except missing a very important robot).

If you're new to the community, please don't be shy! Say hello and introduce yourself. And if you've been here for a while, welcome our newer subscribers into the fold. =)

Note: Comment rules still apply, don't be a dick.

Text and idea shamelessly taken from Shujin.

2 years, 2 months agomechanical_birds posted on femalefashionadvice.
April 14, 2017

My fiancé read Getting Things Done. The difference in his stress levels before and after reading this book is night and day. Definitely recommend.

Is there a reading list? [R]

2 years, 4 months agoCghempel posted submission on CGPGrey2.
Feb. 16, 2017

CGP Grey has suggested many readings over the years. I would like to begin working through them, beginning with the books on checklists, goal setting and time tracking.

2 years, 4 months agoCghempel posted on CGPGrey2.
Feb. 16, 2017

I don't remember many of them, but I'm quite sure you should start with David Allen's "Getting Things Done".

General Discussion - January 04, 2017 [R]

2 years, 6 months agogravrain posted submission on rawdenim.
Jan. 4, 2017

Shoot the shit here.

Be civil.

2 years, 5 months agogravrain posted on rawdenim.
Jan. 4, 2017

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity was a huge help for getting my procrastination habits under control.

Is Time Management for System Administrators still relevant? [R]

2 years, 6 months agobluesoul posted submission on sysadmin.
Jan. 3, 2017

Bonus: anyone know where I can find an audiobook version? (Didn't show up on Audible)

Edit: this book.

2 years, 6 months agobluesoul posted on sysadmin.
Jan. 3, 2017

Need a better organization tool [R]

2 years, 7 months agofoople posted submission on organization.
Nov. 15, 2016

I'm currently using wunderlist, and it has features I need:

  • It works on my phone

  • It supports multiple users (so my gf can update)

  • You can assign things.

I have problems with it though, I get overwhelmed by the list of 200 items, and most of these items have dependencies I have to read down to figure out if I can do it or not. What I really want is something that has the features above and can:

  • List a goal or worktime by it's dependencies. If I need to mow the yard, and it requires me to change the spark plug on the mower, and I don't have the sparkplug, I want to see "Mow Yard: Purchase sparkplug".
  • Weather dependency would be sweet, I can't mow in the rain (my mower literally can't handle it) so I only want to see it as an actionable on non rainy days.
  • I want recurring alerts that don't require to be checked off (wunderlist requires a check off, and it won't go away). If I forgot to take the yard waste out on the day it was due, I don't need that as a checklist item the day after.

Is there anything like this?

2 years, 7 months agofoople posted on organization.
Nov. 15, 2016

You might want to check out Getting Things Done, by David Allen. I found it very helpful in dealing with those exact issues.

Communication Skills / Time Management / Business Skills courses/training in RI? [R]

2 years, 8 months agoNov. 1, 2016


2 years, 8 months agoDBradleyRI posted on providence.
Nov. 2, 2016

Plenty of good, cheap options out there.

  1. Books. Start with (GTD by David Allen)[]. The Five Minute Journal is worthwhile also as a daily practice.

  2. Online Classes. I haven't tried (this one)[], but Coursera tends to be good (and free).

Time Management and Communication is a bit general itself. There's a ton of resources. I'd get a personal coach if I were you, but that's more of an investment. Start with books and online classes that are free / cheap.

I'm unorganized. And it's hurting my businesses. How do you handle it? [R]

2 years, 11 months agoDallasPoolService posted submission on Entrepreneur.
July 21, 2016

I am incredibly unorganized. Or, at least I think I am.

I have about 5 businesses.

3 are passive income websites (blogs with ad space).

1 is web service based.

1 is a brick and mortar shop.

The biggest problem I have with my businesses is just keeping track of all the tasks, correspondences, and marketing campaigns.

Right now I just have basic Excel skills, so I make a To Do List on Google Sheets and just update it daily with tasks. But It's a nightmare to look at and I find myself a few days behind.

Or worse, I wake up every morning thinking "Did I forget anything or anyone?????"

Just to give you an idea, each business has its own Social Media, Email, and Content Calendar, and different subcontractors/employees I need to manage. I've got to stay on track of each one for each business. Some of these are truly small businesses, like blogs with passive income, but they require at least daily checking of emails. But one of these is a web service business with several clients, so managing their projects/campaigns adds to the headache.

The emails are the worst part for me. Depending on which business, I send out weekly campaigns that reach 2000 plus people, and then I find it incredibly difficult contacting 1) responders 2) opened but no response 3) no open no response... the lists of people that I need to reach out to, as well as the unique email templates used to contact them, becomes exponential.

I'm curious, how would you handle this stuff?

2 years, 11 months agoDallasPoolService posted on Entrepreneur.
July 21, 2016

I'd highly recommend GTD

There's also a shorter version but I'd recommend the book if you're serious. There are also a bunch of different subreddits r/gtd, r/productivity, etc that can help. Good luck!

Why is OF so confusing? [R]

3 years agoJune 28, 2016

So can anyone give me better clarification on contexts and projects? What kind of things should I use for contexts, more specifically? Also, how detailed should one get in making projects? What would be considered redundant?

3 years agoSpidertrax posted on omnifocus.
June 28, 2016

OmniFocus is a big beast, it's flexible enough to suit just about any workflow but confusing as hell for those new to the program. Best to search around and gather ideas as to what works best for you. I'd start with the following:

David Allen's' Getting Things Done

Asian Efficiencies OmniFocus Guides

A Fresh Take on Contexts

Take your time, enjoy the journey.

Whats needed for IB [R]

3 years, 1 month agojacebace53 posted submission on IBO.
May 30, 2016

Is it anything special that you need for IB, is it any books etc. That could be good to have as they help you with ib and so on? I'm starting IB after the vacation, and my school gives every supply and so on, but do you guys have any tricks?

TL;DR tips and tricks for IB? Any special books you need?

3 years, 1 month agojacebace53 posted on IBO.
May 31, 2016

I haven't personally had issues with time management, but after talking to some of my classmates that have and looking through the internet it seems that Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen is a good one as it seems to appear on multiple top lists for everyday productivity.

[Discussion]: Failing half of my classes seems to be exactly what I needed to get myself on track towards improving my life [R]

3 years, 1 month agomoleskine9 posted submission on getdisciplined.
May 17, 2016

I'm going to try and keep this relatively short. I took two courses this past semester, a systems analysis class and a communications one. It was the communications one I failed.

I should be beating myself up about it (as is my typical reaction), but I'm not. A couple days ago, I realized the cause of my academic issues (or at least one of the causes.)

I knew I had to write these essays for Interpersonal Communications, I would tell myself that the deadlines were looming every day. All that did, though, was keep me in a pattern where I would make myself anxious, and then procrastinate.

"I need some time to relax so I can stop my heart from racing" is what I'd tell myself. That would just lead me into unproductive day after day until the great wooshing sound of the deadline goes by.

I know I failed, I know I have a problem, but I know that I can solve it. I feel like I've started to accept my problem, and I can begin from there.

3 years, 1 month agomoleskine9 posted on getdisciplined.
May 18, 2016

If you need an ebook version pm me.

Writing a book for onenote/evernote, what things do you want to see? [R]

3 years, 4 months agoFeb. 21, 2016


3 years, 1 month agodaphoenix720 posted on OneNote.
May 10, 2016

No problem , thanks for the input:). I meant ego in the sense that, I have lots of pride in what I do, but I always take constructive criticism seriously whenever its given to me, because most of my life I just had to constructively criticize myself to get by. In order to learn things and what not

I decided to actually write 3 books on these topics,

  1. One for evernote, and just how to use it in general, as well as things I found helpful, such as embedding gifs in there. I actually will keep this book pretty short and sweet, like you can read it in an hour.

  2. One for onenote, same as above. There's some things like embedding images and collapsed screenshots that I did not find in any books that I made up myself. Also, I made many diagrams in onenote, I will mention how to use onenote like a visio tool. Everything else is pretty standard

  3. One really big book, where I talk about history, LEAN, onenote+evernote (but I won't tell you how to use it, I will tell you to youtube how to use them and where), how to maximize workflows, whether 1 or 2 software programs are best, calendar apps, time management. Its basically a book that compiles the best resources on optimizing yourself in this day and age. Its like David Allens GTD book but more expanded on newer technologies. Essentially a lot of my rambo thoughts go here

> I will say this though, those programs change a lot quicker than your book will pick up on popularity. If you made a book about note taking as a decent sized book that might work and then smaller book that could be updated on the uses of ON AND EN then you might be better off. But that's just strictly my opinion.

I agree with you on everything here, from first hand experience. Evernote (especially) more than onenote, decides to change UI things at random sometimes. The book will get outdated on evernote for sure, since its got BIG changes sometimes <1 year, whereas Onenote is about 3-6 years on average (Biggest change was 2010 to 2013 on its UI, some people reallly hated it)

> For clarity, I usually don't even like to read. I use audio books. I just say all that to get at the point of I think an in-depth manual is great just don't want it to not keep up with the times. If that makes sense. Hope I didn't offend especially since you said u have an ego. Cheers

I guess you are referring to I thought people mostly did that for fiction books if they did audio books. Do people actually use that for short manuals in evernote / onenote or software tutorials? I haven't really explored audio books a lot

> in-depth manual is great just don't want it to not keep up with the times

On this thought, there are some things though, with evernote and onenote. I don't believe that ON especially will change much overtime (it really hasn't change a lot over the years imo), but EN will adapt to newer technologies, granted its UI won't change a lot. This book written now, won't be needing that many updates in the future. Even if evernote were to disappear one day, its had such a long lasting impact that many people have made EN clones off of it

  • EDIT: Also, I had a bunch of other books that I might explore afterwards, but that's until after I finish those 3

I feel so inferior to my peers... [R]

3 years, 1 month agoMay 8, 2016

Might not be the best place for this, but my dilemma heavily revolves around engineering here we go. I just finished my third year of chemical engineering and I've come to realize that I've never once felt success in school. Most of my grades have been Cs and a couple of Bs, and last year I was on academic probation for 2 semesters, but managed to get out. All around me though I see my peers getting internships, maintaining a 3.5+ GPA all while still being able to have a good social life and getting internships and I just feel like I'm putting in 110% into my academics and doing just well enough to get by and it's got me down. Sorry if this post doesn't belong in this sub but I figured if anyone might be able to relate it's some of the users here.

3 years, 1 month agonitrac posted on EngineeringStudents.
May 8, 2016

You may or may not find this helpful, but it pretty much changed the way I organize my life.

[Discussion] Awarded "Biggest procrastinator" of my class... help. [R]

3 years, 2 months agoApril 30, 2016

We had kind of a funny superlative benefit at the end of the year for my doctorate program. It's pretty well known with students and faculty that I'm quite a procrastinator. I get things done at the very last minute. The quality is always decent and usually better than most people's work, but it's blatantly obvious it was put together the night before.

So anyways I took the award in stride, laughed it off. Took some pics and uploaded it to facebook. Over 100 likes and dozens of "this is so you!'s" later I really got to thinking...

Is this something I want to be known for? Is this the one thing that separates me from all of my classmates? I'm rambling at this point... But I'm honestly truly looking for motivation or an action plan to stop being such a procrastinator. How do i stop binging netflix shows and video games and reddit threads until the night before assignments are do? How do i tell friends i cannot hang out with them because I have work? I know these sound like easy questions, but as a child who didnt have much when I was younger, i seem to want EVERYTHING now that I can afford it. Any help would be appreciated.

3 years, 2 months agoHushMD posted on getdisciplined.
April 30, 2016

You should read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. CGP Grey, that really cool YouTuber, said that this book was one of the most influential books on his life and that it turned him from a boy to an adult on his podcast. I bought it and it's pretty good early on. You only have to read the very beginning to start feeling like you know how to change your life.

How do you manage your daily tasks without getting overwhelmed? [R]

3 years, 3 months agobluesoul posted submission on sysadmin.
March 8, 2016

I think everyone in /r/SysAdmin can relate to those times when you have you are quietly working on upgrading that certain thing that bugs you on one of your servers that has been throwing up error messages when you notice a faint sound of something starting to beep in the rack unit next to you (not one of those like "oh it's just a UPS draining its own battery" kind of beep, but like an "I've never heard that beep before....." Kind of a beep) so as you get up to go check it out your desk phone rings so you immediately sit back down and pick it up only to hear a coworker on the other end that is starting to get hostile about wanting to trouble shoot over the phone why they can't do Print Previews in from their laptop like they can from their desktop, and then someone walks in with their sticky keyed computer as THEY start to explain their computer is chirping away as you unfortunately realize you are holding that one person's computer who ALWAYS has some kind of malware on their computer and you hope to all that holy that they didn't get the crypto locker on the machine you literally reimaged for them yesterday, and then your pockets starts vibrating because you're getting text messages from your boss wanting to know about some updates that needed to be installed on a DIFFERENT server but while you're replying to him your cell phone rings and it's that one vendor that you've been trying to get a hold of for so long and you want to work with them, but someone else walks in to your office and it makes you realize that you needed to check your emails to see that your only coworker was out sick today and of course the emails just start rolling through before you ever even have a chance in the day to start looking at those help desk tickets that you regrettably are overdue on more projects than you actually have help desk tickets for......

Yeah. One of those kind of days.

This thread is dedicated to sharing tips, tricks, wisdom, and any do's or do-not's that might help us keep it under control when the budget is too small to get more help and the demand is too great for one person to manage (I know, that's everyday in IT though).

3 years, 3 months agobluesoul posted on sysadmin.
March 9, 2016

Getting Things Done, in all seriousness, changed my life.

I can tell you that in a situation like you describe, not recording all of the various things that came up, so you can work on them later and be confident that you know all the issues are accounted for, will bite you sooner or later. It probably already has, at some point in your career. You spaced a request in the hall from your boss to look at an issue on a server because you were juggling a dozen other things and trying to keep them all in your head.

Get in the habit of recording tasks as soon as you discover them or are assigned them. When you have it represented as a list rather than trying to rack your brain because you know there was something really important I'm forgetting shit what was it you're a more effective person in general.

Feel free to PM me.

My poor time management is killing me... [R]

3 years, 8 months agopixel_juice posted submission on Entrepreneur.
Oct. 26, 2015

This is relevant to entrepreneurship in an indirect way. I am pretty bad at time management, get distracted fairly easy (at times) and I feel like because of that my productivity is WAY below my potential. I am not currently an entrepreneur, but becoming one is my goal. I am sure these are common obstacles that many of you do/have faced. Are there any things, daily rituals, books, talks, etc that you have found to really help?

3 years, 8 months agopixel_juice posted on Entrepreneur.
Oct. 26, 2015

Read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen (

Learning to break things down in to very small tasks and get them out of your head and into a trusted system helps. When you can make progress on projects in bite sized pieces, it's easier to overcome procrastination and distraction.

Good luck!

Anyone else unable to remember things often? [R]

3 years, 8 months agoOct. 18, 2015


3 years, 8 months agoPaganator posted on intj.
Oct. 18, 2015

Read Getting Things Done. You'll thanks me later.

[Needadvice] Procrastination is an evil that will ruin my life [R]

3 years, 9 months agonitrac posted submission on getdisciplined.
Sept. 12, 2015

It's midnight and I lie awake in bed thinking about the important stuff I have to do at work and berate myself for not doing it. Many times I've tried to correct my procrastination habits and it works for a day or two but I get back into the old ways. I'm worried that this could someday lead to me losing my job and knowing this scares me even more that I can't seem to change it.

I need to quit the habit once and for all. I need to tackle my work, be on top of things. I think I'm going to ask my IT guy (who is useless) to block reddit. Its not where I spend most of my time all day but it's definitely a big distraction. Hell everything now seems like it's built to distract people and frankly I hate it but can't get out of the loop! I fear for future generations.

I just found this sub and I'm hoping that it will help me overcome my issues and that I can someday be a beacon of hope for others that find themselves disgusted with their ways and that they know they can change as I hope to do.

3 years, 9 months agonitrac posted on getdisciplined.
Sept. 13, 2015

I was just to post the article when I found this comment. Getting Things Done has helped me a lot, although reading a book might be a terrible advice for a chronic procrastinator.

What productive things do you suggest entrepreneurs? [R]

3 years, 10 months agoAug. 26, 2015

Be as specific as possible such as reading specific books, subscribing to certain things, researching specific subjects.

3 years, 10 months agonumberjack posted on entrepeneur.
Aug. 27, 2015

Getting Things Done by David Allen. The End.

Edit: Obviously not the end, but I believe his principles are CRITICAL for anyone spinning more than one plate. Asian Efficiency has also been a spectacular resource. I bought their Primer (not exactly David Allen material, but it's good for people who are just starting on the productivity journey), and listen to the podcasts regularly.

ADHD is still haunting me. Should I even try to move further in my career, or just give up now? [R]

3 years, 11 months agocoeruleumblue posted submission on ADHD.
Aug. 7, 2015

Hello everyone of /r/ADHD. I’ve been a long time redditor with a long-standing diagnosis, but just discovered this subreddit.

I am in my last year of pharmacy school and am going to be trying for a residency. I’ve worked for years to get where I am. I’m honestly surprised that I’ve made it this far.

However, yesterday I had my final evaluation from my rotation professor. (We go through 7 rotations in our final year with an evaluation at the end of each one.) There were several things that came up during my evaluation. Each is problem I’ve been dealing with for years, and thought I had dealt with.

  1. Chronic lateness. This is a big issue and I don’t know what to do about it.
  2. Interrupting people before they are finished talking. Apparently, when doing so, I come across as arrogant.
  3. Meeting deadlines. This rotation didn’t have hard deadlines. When making them for myself, I tend to not keep them.

I’m having a very hard time dealing with this. I thought I had moved passed my difficulties. But they continue to haunt me.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

TL;DR: I thought I had moved passed ADHD. I realize I haven't, and am rethinking my future.

edit: grammar

3 years, 10 months agocoeruleumblue posted on ADHD.
Aug. 20, 2015

Sorry it took so long for me to reply to your comment. Your advice and perspective brought me to tears, and backed me away from the edge. Before your comment, I was seriously considering quitting. Now, I am not.

I've lost more friends and colleagues than I care to admit. One of the things I'm afraid of is burning bridges. Pharmacy is a small world, and one misstep can break someone's career. So far, it seems that I'm staying aflot and keeping the relationships that matter most alive.

I've made an appointment with my psychiatrist/psychologist (she does both). She's made some medication tweaks, and it seems to have helped. I've also spoken with a trusted professor and she recommended I read this book.

I'll grab a copy of the mindfulness prescription book and let you know what I think.

Lastly, thank you for your congratulations. Honestly, you're the first person to say that to me. And it meant the world.

LPT Request: How to use your time more efficiently [R]

3 years, 12 months agooldmethodswork posted submission on LifeProTips.
July 8, 2015

Long story short: How do I get more productive, how can I make better use of my time?

3 years, 11 months agooldmethodswork posted on LifeProTips.
July 9, 2015

[Question] I need an app to do list that's a little more than just a to-do list [R]

4 years agokitcatwrites posted submission on getdisciplined.
June 11, 2015

I have a number of goals and have broken them down to small, bite-sized pieces. However, when I find myself with free time - say, in a cafe waiting for friends to get there - I find myself spinning my wheels and visiting the same 3 websites because I have so many things to do that I can't remember what would be the best thing to do in that situation.

What I'd like is an app that can function as a daily to-do list, as well as a "task-a-day" generator that is based off certain criteria. For instance, if I'm waiting for a half hour my car to get washed, I have my phone, a pen and a paper, but not my journal or computer.

I'd like an app that I can type these "filters" into and get tasks or goals to complete based on the criteria I have. Is there anything like this or that can be modified to be like this that anyone knows?

4 years agokitcatwrites posted on getdisciplined.
June 11, 2015

No link, sorry - I read the book, which has tons of good stuff also. What stuck with me mostly was: 1) Capture everything (tasks, to dos, projects) in a system that works for you (for me, that's Wunderlist) and that you trust. That way your brain doesn't always remind you, or you think you've forgotten something. (Physical inbox for actual stuff - like the gadget that needs fixing). 2) Create a system to process all your tasks, to dos, projects and incoming materials (email, reading, etc.), i.e. know what to do with these things and when to process, action them. Examples: Review all projects once a week, clear your inbox (email and/or physical inbox) every day, file bank statements once a month or when you get them. It doesn't matter when you do it or how often, but having a reliable process makes it more efficient... 3) Always know what the next action is on a project. If you cannot do it right this moment, it's not your next action, it's one further down the line, find the real next action. 4) Only schedule things that have to take place on that day/ time, decide other stuff based on location, energy level, time available (like what you said about having to wait while the car's being serviced). 5) If it takes less than 2 mins, do it right away no matter what it is. Hope this made sense... even though you haven't read the book.

There's plenty more good advice in the book, too. I'm sure a search of Reddit will turn up some discussions, if not an entire subreddit dedicated to all things GTD...?!

This is the most recent edition, mine's a few years old.

ASD and Organization/Task initiation [R]

4 years, 2 months agoHerbSimpson posted submission on aspergers.
April 5, 2015

Some days at work I get into the zone and I'm able to get a lot done and leave work feeling very productive, however more often the not it feels like I just can't get organized, I'm constantly losing my place or feel like I'm to anxious to get started on anything and end up barely getting anything done. Are there any successful professionals that know of any resources that would help me get better at organization and dealing with overload stopping me from starting tasks and instead shutting down? Thanks!

Edit: I'm posting this because all the resources I find online seem to be targeted to children or young adults instead of working professionals.

4 years, 2 months agoHerbSimpson posted on aspergers.
April 6, 2015

In terms of resources, read Getting Things Done by David Allen

I found that book immensely helpful and re-read it every couple of years.

I also find list making/brain dumping to be helpful to clear my head and allow me to focus on starting something.

There will still be some days though were nothing gets accomplished.

What is your favorite self-improvement book? [R]

4 years, 3 months agoMarch 23, 2015

Anything from goal-setting to fitness to saving money, etc. What's your favorite or what would you recommend to everyone?

4 years, 3 months agobendistraw posted on selfimprovement.
March 23, 2015

GTD without a doubt.