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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I highly, highly recommend that you read David Allen's Getting Things Done. Among other things, it clarifies the purpose of keeping lists (getting "stuff" out of your brain to free your brain to be productive), gives a process for managing your lists, and has useful advice on making sure your lists are actionable (keeping it granular to just the "next action").

    Moreover, he describes himself as the laziest person in the world and his system as the simplest thing that could work -- in other words, it's des

    • Yes, GTD is fairly widely used. Also, there are tools for every platform to help you keep lists designed specifically for GTD if you don't want the low-tech approach. I've even had GTD training, but alas it doesn't seem to fit with my brain. I just can't convince myself that I'm better off with all of that stuff 'out' of my brain.

      One other comment: I believe the common wisdom is not to select tasks based on duration (quick tasks) although it's tempting. The recommendation I've heard is to keep your list prioritized and work on urgent (when truly urgent), then important tasks, regardless of time. The caveat is GTD recommends using every bit of free time, so you'd do short tasks when all you have is a bit of time.

      • The subtlety I've found is that once tasks are on a list, then importance and urgency is relevant, but when a new task comes up, if the time to just do it is not much longer than the time to put it into the "system", then it's worth just doing it then. A couple minutes seems to be the rule.

        The problem I've found with prioritization is that my priorities shift too rapidly due to external, client factors and therefore the energy to update priorities on a list is just a frictional loss. People with more st