Having a total and seamless system of organisation in place allows you tremendous power because it allows your mind to let go of lower-level thinking and graduate to intuitive focusing, undistracted by matters that have not been dealt with appropriately. But your physical organising system must be better than your mental one for it work.
The Basic Categories
The outer ring of the workflow diagram shows the main groupings in to which things will go as you decide what they are and what needs to be done about them. These are seven primary type of things you will want to keep track pf and manage from an organisational perspective:
Project support material
Calendar actions and information
"Next Actions" lists
A "waiting for lists"
A "someday/maybe" list
All you need is Lists and Folders
Once you know what you need to keep track of, all you need is lists and folders for reference support materials.
One key difference from all the people who are already keeping lists is that you should try to prioritise your lists as you will have to keep changing them as things change. The list is just a way for you to keep track of the total inventory of active things to which you have made commitments to, and to have that inventory available for review. All you have to do now is to assign reminders to your action items regularly for the actions that are going to take more that two-minutes.
The Actions that go on your Calendar
There are tow kind s of actions that go on your calendar:
Actions that need to be done on a certain day at a specific time
Actions that need to be done as soon as possible you can get to them, around your other calendar items
Organising As-soon-as-possible "Next Actions" by context
The most common categories of action reminders are:
It takes more energy than most people realise to unhook out of one set of behaviors and get into another kind of rhythm and toolset. That's why you can crank up all the phone call together when you make one call.
Organising "Waiting For"
Like reminders of the actions you need to do, reminders of all the things that you 're waiting to get back from or get done by others have to be sorted out and grouped. Your role is to review that list as often as you need to and assess whether you ought to take any action.
You can create a folder- @Waiting For in your inbox for items that you have mailed to others or have delegated to others by mail. This one action can help you to get everything out of your email inbox which will be a huge boon to your clarity about and control of your workday.
Organising "Project Reminders"
The "projects" list is not meant to hold plans or details about your projects themselves, nor should you try to keep it arranges by priority or urgency-it's just a comprehensive index of your open loops. You actually wont be working off of the "Projects list" during your day-to-day activities because you cannot actually to do a project, you can only do the "next action" associated with the project
Project Support Material
Project support material is not project actions, and they are project reminders. They are resources to support your actions and thinking about the project. These support material should be stored in file organising system or a "pending" stack basket.
Organising Non-Actionable Data
There are number of ways to organise reference material and there are many types of tools:
Contact management systems and directories
Libraries and achieves
This is a list to track things/ actions/projects that you may want to reassess in the future
Someday/Maybe are not the throwaway items. They may be some of the most interesting and creative things you'll ever get involved with. Some examples:
Things to build or get for home
Hobbies to take up
Skills to learn
Projects to take up
Creative expressions to explore
Toys to acquire
Trips to take
Things to see and do
Reassess your current projects
Look though you r current list of projects and if on reflection you realise that an optional project does not have chance of getting your attention for next months or more, move it to the Someday/Maybe list