In this current day and age, you are constantly bombarded with lots of tasks that come to you during each day. While you are writing a document, an email arrives asking you to check out the new stuff from Amazon, and your friend calls to remind you to buy a gift for a birthday party that you are both going to in the evening.
We get so overwhelmed with the volume of things to do that sometimes it can cause us anxiety, stress, or a sense of guilt when we forget to do something. We constantly run out of time, sleep badly and follow an unhealthy lifestyle that can lead to many illnesses, or even chronic diseases.
This is the main message of the book Getting Things Done: How can you work efficiently and with a clear head? To fully focus on your tasks, your mind needs space.
With a rigorous data management system you are able to have a stress-free, relaxed and under control life, and that is what David Allen proposes in his Getting Things Done technique.
It consists of several categories:
- Next Actions
- Waiting For
In Proud you have three tabs, each of them serving a different purpose. The first tab is a master list which is similar to the “Projects” category. You have unlimited freedom of writing tasks there.
Let’s examine the “Projects” option. When you write “Projects” on the first tab, you can easily get inside this “task” and enter projects that you want to focus on. Some examples: Buy a new house, Launch Product X, Start Saving Money. Inside each Project tab you can enter subtasks: Talk to @Mom about lending you money, Go to the bank to ask for a loan, etc. That way you can have all your projects organized simply inside one task called “Projects”.
The “Waiting For” task should have subtasks related to things that you are waiting for, for example, someone on your team has to finish a task before you can proceed with other stuff. On this tab you’ll enter things like: Get File X from @Sebastian, Wait for feedback from @Dan, etc. Having one place like this can give you an overview of the tasks that other people have to finish and that are important to you.
The “Someday/Maybe” task can have subtasks like: “Things to buy”, “Movies to watch”, “Songs to purchase”, and each of them can have a list of things to buy, watch or listen to.
The “Next Actions” task should be treated differently, though. The second tab in Proud is a perfect tool for “Next Actions”, when you work with a flat list of things that you are going to do next. Let’s say you are at work and you just remembered that you have to mow the lawn in the evening. You go to the second tab and swipe down to create a task called “Mow the lawn”. When you’re finished creating the task, Proud will automatically ask you when you want to do this task. You choose “This Evening”, and you can continue working on what you were focused on. In the evening, a gentle notification will be displayed on your iPhone reminding you to mow the lawn. Isn’t this workflow beautiful?
What is Proud’s third tab for?
The third tab logs everything you have already accomplished with your life. This is a perfect place to check on what you do each day of the week. With that information you can identify tasks that are draining your time and energy, or don’t produce any results, or produce really bad results.
David Allen also proposes checking with your lists at least once a week. Proud has this action covered as well. With Proud you can easily follow your habits by creating a task on the second tab. When choosing the time of the day, e.g. “This Evening”, you can transform the task into a habit by choosing how many times Proud should remind you about that task every day, week, month or year. That way you can make a habit: Once a Week, on Sunday Evening, you will “Check out all the lists in Proud”. Isn’t that great? I believe it really is.
Proud is a very flexible productivity tool that can support many different productivity methods.
Do you use the Getting Things Done method? What other methods do you use? Write a comment here or message me on Twitter at @piotrszwach or @UseProud. I’ll be happy to have a conversation with you!