I was recently introduced to an iOS application called Lift, which helps you achieve new habits in a social fashion. Enter the habits you wish to track and when completing a habit for the day, just mark it as done to see it disappear only to return the next morning.
Lift features tracking of days done and missed, as well as streaks and is gamified with awards for achieving certain milestones. The social aspect comes from the ability to comment and like all checked in habit events, as well as the ability to add your own comment when completing a habit.
Having to check multiple applications for todos feels counterproductive, so I tried replicating tracking habits using Omnifocus, which is already being used for everything task related.
The end result will look something like this:
Start by creating a single actions project called Habits, perhaps in your Maintenance folder. Add all habits you wish to track to the list, and assign them a context of Habits. The actions have been set to repeat every day, so adjust accordingly.
Then create a perspective similar to the following image. Note that the Habits context has been selected, and the main sidebar has been hidden prior to creating the perspective, giving you a clean list.
The reason for creating the Habits context and not just create a perspective using the projects view is that the iOS apps seem to ignore all perspectives using the projects view mode.
Now just drag you newly created perspective to your toolbar and start tracking!
There are of course some glaring pieces missing compared to the Lift app, but it could be a small price to pay for having everything conveniently integrated in Omnifocus.
A slightly different take on contexts in GTD which, instead of compartmentalizing the current tools at you disposal, focuses on the emotional outcome of completing a particular action.
The author of Simplicitybliss writes about The Planning Fallacy and that we always underestimate the time when planning ahead.
Use a "Next Action" list instead of a daily todo list and work off it as much as you can while dealing with all the ad-hoc stuff showing up – this list represent commitments you need to get done, there is no obligation to complete all or any of them today
This is one of the main reasons I use GTD. Having the ability to take on ad-hoc work, knowing exactly what will be held back and what the consequences of taking on unplanned work can lead to.
David Allen gives an introduction to the principles behind Getting Things Done and stress-free productivity, and the importance of keeping a clear head.
Stop to think, and you’re dead. When you have the time and energy to actually do something, you should have already thought out what to do, to no lose momentum. [Youtube]
David Allen gives a rare glimpse inside his own office, demonstrating how he processes his paper inbox. You’ll see real examples transforming stuff into clarified actions and reference.
An interesting video where David empties his own physical in-basket using eProductivity for Lotus Notes and Evernote for reference material. It seems he struggles like everyone else with certain gray-zone items, and that he is also using Evernote for reference just like me.
What’s your standard for email?
For email, it’s actually less effort to maintain it at zero than to maintain it at three hundred.
David Allen talks about the effort required to maintaining an inbox at zero in contrast to another number.