Regie Bariuan

Lettering Artist and Designer

13

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Taking It One Action at a Time

Cover Photo Source

First of all, this was the second time that I watched all the videos of this course. I did finished everything last year but I didn't really implement everything and I didn't finish the project. This time I learned that what I was previously doing isn't giving me the results I wanted. So now I want to have a structure in my workflow and take a second look at this course.

Where am I right now?

As I mentioned, I already went through this so what I ended up doing is trying out some of the tools used in the course thinking that this will solve my problem. What I learned was no matter how effective the tool is, it is still up to me to discipline myself to take consistent action. I've been using Todoist for my goals but it ended up just becoming a wish list rather than a todo-list. Clear actions were not listed which ended up to a lot of unfinished projects, unread books and courses that were not started.

Here's the result of my diagnostic quiz:

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Phase 1: Collecting Open Loops

The main tool that I am using is Todoist. Now most of my open loops consists of personal projects that I want to accomplish but have not made any significant process for the past months. It also has containers for my Areas of Responsibility such as my freelancing website, my blog, my events team tasks and setting up my workspace as shown below.

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I am actually working backwards from what was discussed in the course where we have to list all our next actions and group them into bigger projects or goals. I had taken a goal setting course prior to this, so what I have are big goals that I need to chunk down into bite-sized actions.

I also use Evernote as one of my containers. At first I only have one notebook for everything. Now, what I did was organize them based on different subjects.

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I also use Pocket to capture my read later list. This does not have any organization whatsoever and the main problem here is regularly processing everything.

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Phase 2: Processing Tasks Using Next Physical Actions

At this point I had already listed the next physical actions to my personal projects. For example, I have my learning list project and I want to track every Skillshare class I want to finish.

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Most of my tasks are already grouped in projects and areas of responsibilities. For my reference container I have Evernote for my notes. I also installed the web clipper to help me save articles that I can look into later.

Phase 3: Organizing Tasks in a Trusted System

There were 3 main tools that I use right now:

  • Todoist for task management.
  • Evernote for notes and references management.
  • Sunrise for events management.

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I love the way Sunrise could integrate with a lot of my accounts giving me an overview of my entire schedule for the week. I usually use this just to check if there are activities that I need to keep in mind while working. The one thing that I really struggle with is having the discipline to schedule a task and get it done at the alloted time. They say what's in the calendar gets done. But it seems to be different for me. Maybe I just need practice with this. As of now, I just have to try and see what effectively works for me.

Phase 4: Reviewing Projects and Areas of Responsibility

I think this is the part where I failed the last time I tried to be productive. I didn't have a dedicated time to review my tasks and projects. I did not keep my goals visible.

Now I have to make sure that I review everything regularly. In Todoist I just have a daily and weekly checklist for now. I want to review my habits in an app called Strides which I will share later. The weekly review is the most important and most challenging for me. I know that these checklist will encounter a lot of tweaking as I move forward.

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Phase 5: Doing Things

At first I really had a difficult time using labels since I tend to create labels that are supposed to be projects. For example I previously had a label called Skillshare before but it was not helpful. I did not want to end up with a bunch of labels that does not have enough meaning for the task. The labels discussed in the course were really helpful and it makes sorting tasks a lot easier. What I love was the label according to time it will take for the task. It gives me something to look forward to since I can look at tasks that I can fit to the schedule I have at the moment. I also have labels  for the actions and the subjects that are related to the task that would give it more context.

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Goals versus Habits

Initially, my project named Personal in my Todoist stores some of the habits that I want to build like waking up early and reading a book daily. But for this tasks, I want to build them overtime and I want to track my progress with them individually. The idea of seeing my streak for a certain goal somehow gives me additional motivation. The app I used was not recommended in this course but you can take a look at it and see if it fits you. Having this habits in my Todoist makes it feel cluttered and it just shows of I'm behind schedule or not. The tracking in Strides is just right for me and this will go hand-in-hand with Todoist.

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That's it for now and I'll post an update if there are changes and additional comments. So far so good. I feel that I'm more structured now and can do more with this workflow. It is not perfect but I'll continue on improving it as I go on.

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