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Inbox zero obsession reduces productivity

Always being concerned about that next email, IM or todo list item can really hinder the GTD mentality. Melitiously keeping your inbox at zero and clearing IM’s and email as soon as they come in just to feel fulfilled is really distracting.

I keep my inbox at zero pretty much at all times, the downside is when emails start to come in it is hard they are hard to ignore. They are like that one dead pixel or that zit that just came out or no where. You just want to get rid of it as soon as possible and move on.

Just when you get it moved to a task or respond here comes another one. I have decided to only check for new email every three hours and clean it to zero before another three hour block of work.

Being so efficient doesn’t always pay off, I am going to opt for the distraction less few hours during the day to see if it helps out.

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Getting Organized with Things.

Recently at both work and home clients have been asking to start their projects immediately. We have a billing system at work keep track of project progress but it doesn’t do a great job of scheduling projects for the future. Which makes it hard to justify how many resources are tied up at any given moment in the future.

I have always been a proponent of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method so I started trying out software. What I found was most suck at getting things done, I was left with a clunky and confusing taste in my mouth.

Then I tried Things and it changed my life. It allowed me to create all my projects, teammates and tasks with just a few clicks. Organize them into areas and begin work. It could not have been simpler or look more elegant.

Below is a screen shot from a few days ago listing the projects and their next steps. Things for today are listed in red and other peoples tasks have their names by it all in one screen, it is like a dream come true.

Translating from Things to our billing system which has a task manger I thought everyone would get freaked out seeing soo many far future tasks but I got quite the opposite reaction. They enjoyed seeing what was coming up and during downtime or when their brain was fried they could go on to a future task and get it out of the way.

Efficiency has gone up about 200% due to Things. If you are in a situation with multiple projects with multiple deadlines or clients this can be a life savor.

Check Things out, download the preview at Cultured Code.