How to do less … to be more

By Benjamin Aggrey 5 years agoNo Comments
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I just pulled up my Evernote where I keep all my action lists, and checked how many projects and actions I completed in 2013.

 And, the result?

219 projects and 7,710 next actions to be exact.

That’s an average of 21 tasks every single day of the year… including weekends, holidays, sick days and vacations!

If you had told me at the beginning of the year this is how much I would have done, I would have immediately called the asylum and asked them to pick you up immediately. 😉

So yes, that number surprises me now.
I certainly didn’t set out to do that much.
I only set out to keep doing all the productivity techniques I’ve picked up over the years.

Doing Less
So now that I’m thinking about 2014 and my one-word theme for the year – mindfulness, I found myself wondering if I could complete these many outcomes in 2014.

Would I even want to complete that many projects?

Because, surely if I’m completing that much then I probably am not spending any more time than I was in 2013 being mindful.
Which is clearly what I want to change.

So I figure that I need to complete fewer projects.

How to Do Less?
So, if I have to pick fewer projects, I better be picking the right projects.

And then I realised that with my GTD® I have all the right tools.

  • I plan my day according to my action lists so I know where I need to be.
  • I have a focus list for the day where I track the must-do-today’s. Everything else is optional.
  • I can reduce my action lists at any time by moving projects to my someday/maybe list.
  • I have a Renegotiating Commitments checklist which helps me re-prioritise what I’m committing to. So if I’ve got 7,710 next actions and 219 projects, I’d better pull out that checklist and get to renegotiating!

So, for 2014, I’ve got my Do Less toolkit and I hereby resolve to do a whole lot less.
May you have an equally underachiever 2014 =D

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