There are several programs and methods I’ve used in the integration process. As with any other aspect of productivity, there are likely multiple methods and each would be adapted to your own style or preference.
I’ve listed useful programs in Part I, but here is the list again:
- GTD – OmniFocus: You can, of course also use any other productivity program, or pen and paper, etc.
- Timer – Pomodoro Timer (freeware): can also use a kitchen timer
- Record keeping – Numbers: can also use paper and pen, Text Editor, OmniOutliner, etc.
- Isolator (freeware): bonus tool for concentration on a particular task.
There are two repeating tasks entered into OmniFocus. One goes into a project titled “Daily” and one goes into the project titled “Weekly”. Both of these Projects are in the folder “Routine Maintenance”:
The weekly task is scheduled on Thursday. I will look at next week and assign ½ hour chunks of time throughout various days between clients and meetings leaving time for lunch at mid-day and leisure at the end of the day. Assigning time like this also has the advantage of reserving time for important non-client centered work or projects and avoids overbooking clients.
In the mornings, as part of the daily task, I count the number of pomodoros available for the day, look at my flagged projects and assign myself whichever ones I like as areas of focus for the day. I can always change during the day, but at least I have a plan with which to begin.
As an example, if I have 5 available pomodoros scattered throughout the day, I may set 2 aside for routine maintenance, phone calls, emails and paperwork, and the other 3 for any particular projects on which I’d like to focus. I can dedicate one-to-three different projects vs three-to-one project or any combination with different effort for each.
Of course, this can be done without the pomodoro concept, but having discrete periods of time dedicated to a particular concentration can make a significant difference. We can avoid the, “oh let me see what’s on the forums just for a second” or “I wonder if Slangolor emailed me back yet”, each seemingly simple thoughts with their own derailing paths.
In the next post, I will add some final thoughts on the pomodoro.
Addendum: I’m experimenting with doing away with the external spreadsheet and just using OmniFocus as the recording system. I’ve created a folder for Pomodoros. A new project called “(today’s date) pomodoros” is added containing tasks with links to the projects.