After having a personal productivity crisis --you have a cool productvity app? I have probably tried it!-- I decided to go against task managing so to speak.
So I have put aside Amazing Marvin for the time being (my uber task manager of choice after Things, Todoist, Omnifocus, Goodtask and another plethora) and now everything runs through my calendar.
The task manager I’m using now (Apple Reminders) works as the repository of categorized tasks but every morning I go to it and decide which tasks I will do this day. After this quick process, the task manager is only used as an Inbox.
But the new aspect here for me is that the task manager is now second fiddle – the calendar is king. So I have the habit of checking tasks in the calendar. I’m not using Fantastical’s Reminders integration, it’s much simpler: I have another calendar as an archive log. So when I finish a task (in its slotted time), I move it to the archive calendar and then it disappears from my view so I get the little dopamine hit of checking something off.
But the calendar is king only for the day. Every Sunday night, I review the goals (thery are in a Numbers sheet, nothing fancy) and assign time slots. In this way, I am aware of how many hours I can put into several objectives (learning to read sheet music, playing Chopins’ Nocturne n20 -which I am learning by ear at the moment-, exercising, learning quantum computing, journaling, meditation…) so it’s a session of viewing available time and dropping blocks here and there. Also, of tracking advance in every goal (did I journal every day? how many bars of the Nocturne can I confidently play now? how many minutes of exercise?) in the Numbers sheet.
So, the task manager will surface the “need to take the trash out” recurrent task but they will have to compete for a slot that is not already occupied by one of the quarter objectives. Basically, I am avoiding menial tasks to over-run the important tasks, a la Eisenhower Matrix.
Also I am quantifying other habits (cigarettes smoked, pomodoros, glasses of water) through Habitica. Every day in my Wind Down Ritual I write down the numbers in the Numbers sheet so I can track progress.
As you can see, there is nothing fancy here, only I am using stock apps so I have stopped fiddling with my system for the time being. At this time I think my objectives are more like trying to establish healthy/good habits rather than projects like (“build a new bike shed”) so this thing currently works for me.