Getting Things Done, My Current System
I have experimented with keeping a morning ritual and not keeping a morning ritual in my years after college, and have found that having a bit of a morning ritual helps me build momentum into the new day.
At a high level my morning ritual always consists of:
- Shower & Get Dressed
- Make Coffee with my AeroPress
- Cook Breakfast (Turkey Sausage, 2 Fried Eggs, Vitamin C Tablets, 500ml Water, and sometimes hashbrowns)
- Pack Lunch
- Do any dishes in the kitchen
- Start Any Laundry
- Document my previous day in a wellness application
- Check in on various beer money websites. (5 minutes max)
- Commute to work
- Execute against another checklist that is the same everyday. (15-30 Minutes)
While these 10 steps don’t seem exceptionally complicated, each has a set of sub-steps each of which helps me build a feeling of accomplishment going into the day. One thing I hope to add in the future is a period of meditation and prayer in a attempt to raise my level of mindfulness.
The valuable part of a morning ritual is having a set a tasks that I can complete with little friction to help me get into a rhythm of completing tasks which leads me into driving to complete more tasks throughout the day.
Currently, the biggest struggle I have found is losing momentum for completing tasks after commuting home from my workplace. Because of that, I am experimenting with a Getting Things Done (GTD) system to prioritize those personal projects and tasks I want to complete in the evening and afternoon. The checklist application I am using on Android to support this system is called “Chaos Control“. If you are a iOS user a highly recommended by internet personality CGP Grey is Omnifocus.
This graphical flowchart hosted by the WikiMedia organization describes the getting things done system presented by David Allen his book. The basic idea of the GTD system is to first document all of the things you are hoping to get done as you encounter them, and then take time each day\week\month to triage the tasks that you want to complete and plan your day around that.
The advantage I have found with using a checklist app like Chaos Control is that having the ability to document multiple steps when I am planning my day\week\month, and then as I am executing against the lists I have built, I am able to get that little hit of dopamine as I check items complete as I move through the list — which helps me build momentum into completing more tasks.
If this topic of “getting things done” is interesting to you I would recommend you check out the following content and books:
- Cortex Podcast hosted by CGP Grey & Myke Hurley
- “Self-Efficacy and The Art of Doing Things” by Ian Walker on ArtofManliness.com
- “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen
- “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande