Friday, February 3, 2012

Started Adding Projects And An Agendas List To My Daily Checklist

I spent more time today updating my daily checklist. Primarily I focused on adding personal projects to it. These were primarily financial and household accounts that I have to keep an eye on each week. I use the projects list during my weekly review. I like to have each account I have on the project list so I can remind myself each week of anything that I might need to do with them.

The other main thing I added was an agenda list of friends and family as well as work associates. I also use this during my weekly review to remind me if I need to do anything for important people in my life.

These are really used as mental triggers to keep them on top of my mind to help me determine any next actions.

I also added some frequently referred to information on the checklist like my phone numbers and addresses. I think tomorrow I will add an additional section for rewards programs along with phone numbers as well.

The other thing I have been thinking about is the format of my checklist. It's a little better but not sure it's a keeper yet. I will keep working on it. If you are a member, be sure and check out my checklist. If you aren't a member, join now to get access to it as I update it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How I'm Expanding My GTD Daily Review Checklist To Get EVERYTHING Out Of My Head

In my last article, I showed a snapshot of my daily review checklist and mentioned the first five sections of my checklist were for the five phases of GTD workflow. Those were, collecting, processing, organizing, doing and reviewing. I have started building out the steps I take in those areas and have expanded my checklist to include a few more areas for me to build out.

The first three sections I added were for a morning routine, afternoon routine and evening routine. In each of these sections, I am going to outline the steps I take to do the routine items like getting ready in the morning, walking and things like that. To complement those sections, I've added additional sections for meals and snacks. Those are breakfast, lunch, dinner and three snacks. I will use these sections to put in healthy meal plans I would like to follow each day with a few different options as well.

The next sections I added were ones for a daily review, weekly review, monthly review, quarterly review and yearly review. In these sections, I will record the steps that I want to take for reviewing at each of those time. From the way I like to set up my day, I will set up slots for two daily reviews. Once in the morning and once in the evening.

I considered adding sections for each day of the week but at this time opted not to do that. Instead I will use my calendar for weekly related actions that need to be completed. I may change my position on that but that is what has always worked for me in the past. One additional step that I do take when I record steps is if it something I want to do on certain days I will put the initial of the day of the week in front of it. For example: M:Walk at 65% of maximum heart rate. The "M" in this situation is for Monday. If I want to do this for specific multiple days, I will put SWF for example. in front of the task.

The final sections I added to my daily review checklist are GTD related sections. These are projects for personal and professional, areas of focus, reference, goals and visions.

I also added a slot for my thirty day challenges.

Some things I have learned so far are to leave enough room to add and subtract items from your list and to also move items around. I have also numbered each step.

The final part of my checklist that I expanded is to keep track of time it takes to complete sections. I haven't started timing these yet but will here soon. My goal here is to get these items done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

One additional point. Once I fine tune each of these sections, the steps involved along with the most efficient and fastest way to complete these tasks, I will assign these routines to times on my calendar to follow at specific times. I will do that so I can control my day and what happens during each section of it.

If you are a member, you can watch my checklist evolve by clicking the link in my signature to my Daily Review Checklist. If you are not a member, I encourage you to join today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Thirty Day Challenge For The Month Of February: Work On My Daily Review Checklist Each Day

It's the first of the month and time to start another thirty day challenge. If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I completed my last thirty day challenge which was to walk for three miles each day. I continued walking three miles again today and started my new thirty day challenge which is to work on the second component of the white belt master - building mental strength with my checklist. I've decided to work on my checklist each and every day for the month of February for at least 30 minutes.

If you will recall from my previous articles and podcasts, I am a big advocate of getting everything out of your head and putting it into a checklist that you can refer to daily. I often described the football coach on the sideline with his football game plan on a big laminated card. This card tells him how to handle any game situation.

Likewise, the daily checklist I am putting together will also help me handle any situation I encounter during my day. I've been adding to my daily review checklist a little bit at a time and have started organizing it a bit better as well.

Here's a picture of my daily review checklist in it's current form today. Keep in mind, it's in progress at this point.

[caption id="attachment_1405" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="My GTD Daily Review Checklist starts to take shape."][/caption]


The core I have started with are the five phases of GTD workflow. Those are collecting, processing, organizing, doing and reviewing. I've started breaking down the exact steps I have to take to complete each phase.

The reason I feel this is important is twofold. First, if you break down everything you have to do into specific steps and write them down on paper, you get more stuff out of your head. Second, you define precisely what done looks like.

While both have their rewards, the second is extremely valuable to managing your stress. Once you define what done looks like - exactly - and you do it daily, you will know when work is finished.

If you know when work is finished, you can get on to the more important things in life like having fun!

Each day this month, I'll update you on the development of my daily review checklist. If you are a member, you can actually see my checklist template in google docs. If not, be sure and join today.