I have a love/hate relationship with Getting Things Done (GTD).
It has massively increased my productivity.
GTD basically means:
put everything you need to do into one place
put it into projects, into a someday/maybe list, or into trash
use actionable to-dos ("outline article about Getting Things Done" instead of "write")
prioritize it, and work on it in manageable pieces
I personally use Todoist to manage my to-dos.
With their flexible but focused tool, you can build most to-do list systems, or build your own!
I love their recurring tasks with which I plan, e.g., chores around the house, or to clear out my junk-email folder.
But sometimes, it feels overwhelming.
It feels more like managing my to-do list than actually making meaningful progress.
The most important part about any system you set up for your life is to adjust it for your needs.
Here’s what I do about this:
Rigorously delete to-dos. This is necessary, there always accumulates stuff I thought was important that really isn't.
Take time to explore my values, and my long- and medium-term goals. Write them down and regularly check in with them.
Review the projects I worked on each week. Check if I stuck to my plans and if they are still important to me. (This is part of GTD).
Plan my week in another system, free from my to-dos to focus on my medium- and long-term goals. Roam Research is awesome for this
Put that plan into Todoist and organize the other to-dos I discover there around my important tasks.
Use a 1-3-5 approach to priorities. One must-do task, three should-do tasks and five could-do tasks. Be content with my day when I only complete my must-do.
To remind myself of these regular reviews, I use, you guessed it, Todoist's recurring tasks.
And a pre-defined set of questions in Roam.
Work not only on urgent tasks.
Make time for what is important to you.