My task list is a black hole.
I know it doesn't need to be this way. Every productivity framework under the sun has answers for this problem. However, for the last few months, opening Omnifocus would almost always entail making over my recurring reminders then closing it without looking at "the big stuff." I had big ambitions to follow Getting Things Done® (GTD) but I was not getting things done.
When Jason and I decided to build Mindful Tasks, I knew this had to be the first problem I tackle. Unlike Jason's problem with switching apps, I'm actually happy with my productivity apps. My entire task list has historically been managed with Omnifocus. More recently, I've integrated Notion into my life following August Bradley's "Life Operating System" Youtube series based on his Pillars-Pipelines-Vaults model (more on PPV below).
Here's my plan:
1. Define my values
One of the critical pieces of GTD that I glossed over was the Horizons of Focus model. I had a general understanding of my lower horizons but a critical mistake that I made was not considering the 40,000 and 50,000 ft horizons. I have values and a purpose in life but, if you put me on the spot, I wouldn't be able to articulate them well.
2. Establish goals tied to my values
Both the GTD Horizons of Focus and the PPV model provide frameworks for cascading the values down through a number of levels that ultimately result in the tasks on my task list having meaning to my life.
Apps have historically been unable to capture high level values and tasks tied to those values while still being usable. Notion is one of the first apps with the features that make this possible so this is where I’ll be managing my life moving forward.
3. Automate repetitive work
Automation seems like an obvious inclusion here and it will likely be the area where I have the most to share on Mindful Tasks. Apple Shortcuts and Drafts seem basic on the surface but a skilled user can move mountains.
4. Outsource low-value work
Outsourcing is an essential part of the productivity systems that ultra-productive people use. The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, the sacred text for many prodictivity gurus, would be an entirely different book if outsourcing wasn’t an option.
As I become better at time and task management, hiring designers or other professionals on sites like Fiverr and Upwork for work that I'm not skilled at seems like a no-brainer. If you know where to look, somebody that enjoys the work that you abhor is waiting to be hired.
This blog post is step 1 towards being more productive. Finishing my Notion setup and tackling my inboxes are on the agenda for this week.
I have A LOT to say about inboxes so subscribe below and keep an eye out for my article on that topic. For now, Notion is calling.