Today we discuss productivity systems. But maybe not in a way you'd expect. As we approach 2021, now is a great time to revisit your productivity system and make adjustments heading into the new year.
In our opinion, productivity systems and tools are highly personal - and are never perfect. Instead of offering a functionality / use-case deep dive of our individual tool choices and how we use them, we cover some of our thoughts around the mindset of productivity systems and how they should evolve to meet your needs - ultimately removing psychic weight.
The primary concept behind productivity systems uses the analogy of the car, driver, and mechanic - we play each of these in our lives:
- When you are the car you are in a state of doing work. Driving from point A->B
- The car on its own can't know where to go, that's where the driver comes in. The driver sets the direction and ensures we are going to the right destination - doing the right things.
- The engineer/mechanic improves the entire system, making the planning or execution of tasks more efficient over time
Usually stress comes in when one of these three personas are over-used or neglected (e.g. getting a bunch of tasks done as the car but not working on the right priorities).
The three of us use our productivity systems differently:
- Robert uses OmniFocus strictly as a near-term commitment tracker and creates custom filters to get priority tasks in front of him quickly
- Charles uses Todoist as a "brain dump" to remove as much psychic weight from his life as possible - which creates a negative side effect (task hoarding)
- Igor uses Trello as a visual representation of what is on his plate which helps him be more creative at work
Even though we use different tools, there are some areas/outcomes we feel similarly about:
- We discuss the absolute importance of getting todo's out of your brain and into a trusted system
- A trusted system is a place for your tasks/commitments that store your "open loops" and keep things from falling through the cracks
- Trusted systems should remove the psychic weight of the open loops in your life - which frees you up to work more creatively and focused
- Your productivity systems will have downsides or negative side effects (like task hoarding) - watch out for these and adapt over time
- The Eisenhower Matrix is generally helpful - or maybe not, who knows?!
Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your thoughts on productivity systems so feel free to let us know about your systems and how they are helping or causing you frustration.