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Productivitiy - my system

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Productivity - my system

The goal

We are trying to achieve the following:

  • Ensure we are working on the most important thing at all times
  • Once we have started something, ensure we complete it
  • Focus on a small number of projects at any one time
  • But, also balance different things at the same time
  • Keep on top of what we need to do, push things forward daily

Current Process


New tasks are created in and They are processed daily, moving them into the relevant file

One-off todo items

Tasks such as errands go into or under "One-off".


Projects that will last for a while have their own .org file. Tasks can appear anywhere in the file. The project can be organised however makes sense. If any information that will be useful long-term is generated inside a project, it is moved to a zetl file.

The goal is to have as few projects as possible, to achieve this we try and close a project as quickly as we can. For example, if we have a project that involves a lot of set up and some ongoing maintenance, we do the setup as part of the project, then put in place a system (ongoing todo items in home, beeminder, reviews) for the maintenance, and close the project. If this does not seem possible, then the project is too big. It is a 领域 not a project.

Once something has been moved to a zetl, it is fine to delete it from the project and link to the zetl. We want one source of truth so we don't have different versions eveywhere.


I have a beeminder goal of 'todo-home' that ensure I clear my todo list. This means that if it is scheduled, it will be done. If a task is not scheduled, it may never be done however! There is nothing in place to force me to schedule tasks. Usually the time gap between scheduling and doing is enough to overcome akrasia, so I have not needed a goal here. To make sure projects move forward, we have two weekly reviews where I schedule project tasks over the coming days.


Don't try to do too much. Better to focus on a few things and complete them quickly and well. *Finish one thing before starting the next!


Book notes

<2019-04-28 周日> I used to import book notes from my kindle when I had finished reading the book. I would go through all the highlights, re-reading them, rewriting any notes I had taken to be clearer. A couple of days later I'd come back and write a review. Sometimes I'd put this process off for a week or two, especially for long books where I took many notes.

Recently I've been writing up my notes almost daily. I've not yet tried pulling out zetls while I go, but this has inspired a few updates to existing zetls. It makes the job less boring (plus), but means I am not looking at the notes all in one go (minus). I imagine I will need to skim through the notes again to write the review, so this might not end up being an issue. I also have a task to come back to notes in the future and reprocess them, pulling out zetls, etc. so the notes will be seen again in their entirety.

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Last modified 2019-06-26 周三 13:35. Contact