Those in the personal productivity sphere say that reducing the number of small decisions you have to make leaves you with more willpower to manage the more important things. That’s why Barrack Obama wears the same suit every day.
However, self-improvement and managing your affairs usually comes with some sort of overhead. This can manifest itself in having to remember to wash your hair every 3 days, or who’s supposed to do the dishes today.
Maintaining these routines means either using schedules and calendars to keep track of what’s supposed to happen when, or having to ask yourself “did I wish my hair yesterday? Was it the day before?”
A better way to handle this is to remove the variability in your schedule.
Do It Daily, Or Pick A Day
The absolute best way to accomplish a goal is to do a bit of it every day.
Don’t let your room get messy throughout the week and finally fix it on the weekend; just reduce your daily entropy and you’ll find yourself on Saturday with free time for something you love. As bonus, you don’t have to come home on a Thursday to a messy place–the you-of-the-past has already done the hard work!
Of course, some things shouldn’t be done every day. The secret here is always knowing when it’s supposed to happen.
Instead of keeping of track of when you’re due to undertake a task on an ever-changing roster, lock it down into discrete, repeatable timeframes. Instead of washing your hair every two or three days, just do it Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. You’ll remember when these days roll around that you have a task to attend to.
Instead of clearing out your emails ‘whenever you get time’, set some time for accomplishing Inbox Zero at the same time or day every week.
Instead of trying to convince your team that the codebase is close to collapsing and they need to ‘start cleaning up their code’, institute an allotted time each week specifically for refactoring and make sure it gets done–just be prepared to defend your business case for needing to refactor.
Give It A Try
If you want to really jump on board with Getting Things Done, try Scheduling Things Better. You’ll see that you no longer have to think about the things you have to do, they’ll just get done!