Every productive person has a system for getting things done.
You can’t be productive unless you have a system, a method, a process, whatever you want to call it. Basically, you have a way of doing things. Some people invent a system. Some people learn a system. But everyone has a system.
In this article, I’ve laid out some of the most popular and effective productivity systems so you can get your productivity groove on.
Getting Things Done is the brainchild of David Allen, as explained in his book, Getting Things Done.
The Getting Things Done process begins with a massive brain dump to clear the mind of all the conceivable tasks in your life. Once the tasks are all put on paper, you can begin getting them done.
Getting Things Done is the modus operandi for many successful people. Allen covers 6 areas of focus:
Once all your tasks are outlined and organized into one of these 6 categories, you can begin knocking them out.
Getting Things Done has the advantage of putting you in control of your entire life.
The startup time that’s required may be hard for some people, and implementation can be complicated.
A productivity guru named Francesco Cirillo invented the Pomorodo Technique, a productivity system built on the idea of getting things done in predetermined blocks of time.
Implementing Pomodoro is very simple. You break a task up into 25-minute segments, called Pomodoros. In between each Pomodoro, you take a 5-minute break. After 4 Pomodoros, you take a longer break.
Some devotees use a cute tomato-shaped timer set at 25 minutes. Seriously. (Pomodoro is tomato sauce in the culinary world.)
There are 6 objectives in organizing your schedule Pomodoro-style.
The ideas of Pomodoro are explained in the book The Pomodoro Technique.
The advantages of the Pomodoro Technique are 4-fold:
Pomodoro works well for micromanaging your workday, but it limits flexibility and interactivity. Some people find it too structured, preventing them from coping with the shifting demands of a high-pressure, multitasking job.
Zen to Done, pioneered by Leo Babauta, is explained in his book, Zen to Done. The premise is this: “It’s about the habits and the doing, not the system or the tools.”
Zen to Done piggybacks on Getting Things Done, but reverses some of its alleged shortcomings.
Zen to Done’s emphasis on habits is one of its strongest features. Here are the 10 habits of a Zen to Done master:
Zen to Done is a beautifully simple system, which makes it easy to adopt and implement, with little to no startup time. (Full disclosure: This is the system the author uses.)
Zen to Done doesn’t work for every type of workflow management. Some find that it does not have a structured approach to managing time because of its focus on tasks.
This system, inspired by Jerry Seinfeld, focuses on creative success. It has helped people in creative occupations become more systematic and disciplined in accomplishing their tasks.
Here’s how Don’t Break the Chain got started. Seinfeld started off the new year with a big calendar. He made a big, fat, red X over each day in which he successfully accomplished his goal of writing new material.
And that’s the system.
Adam Dachis of Lifehacker says this system “fixed my procrastination problem.” He explains how to put the system in place:
Don’t Break the Chain can help you with your procrastination. It’s basically a hack to build consistency, form habits, and gradually achieve your goals.
Don’t Break the Chain is very simple. You can start right now.
Because of its simplicity, it doesn’t exactly work for organizing an entire day or managing your hours.
Once you start dabbling in productivity, you start to realize something very unsettling: All this productivity stuff about streamlining and simplifying is actually very complicated. There are so many options! So many approaches! Aagh! It’s easy to freak out and go back to wallowing in your unproductive mire.
So how do you choose?
Creating a productivity system can be overwhelming at first, but the ultimate goal is streamlined simplicity like you’ve been dreaming of. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but you’re paving a road for a beautiful simplicity.
No matter which productivity system you choose, TeamGantt’s the perfect partner to help you stay focused on the work that matters most. Spend less time making to-do lists and more time knocking projects out like a champ. 💪
Watch the video below to see how TeamGantt works, and try our free online project management software today!