Over the years, I’ve become fond of productivity tips which are small improvements. For me, life-changing productivity systems like Getting Things Done tend to waste more time than they save. Your mileage many vary of course.
Setting up new, more productive workflows takes time, without any real guarantee that they’re worth it. For example: you spend an hour figuring out how to use IFTTT to automate tasks. Another half an hour setting up five recipes. You forget all about your recipes a couple of days later. A year later, you delete them. (I’m a fan of IFTTT, by the way, I’m just using it as an example.)
So this year, let’s look at some productivity tips which may just save you five minutes here and there. With luck, you’ll save four or five hours over a month.
Our first tip is…
Create a Quick List for tasks you can do in under ten minutes
What’s a Quick List? It’s a list of tasks which take no longer than ten minutes. These tasks can be for home, or for work.
My “home” Quick List includes: water plants in sunroom, change lightbulb in hall, and the names of people I need to call.
My “work” Quick List primarily consists of email messages to which I need to respond, as well as articles to read in Pocket.
Your Quick Lists prevent tasks from cluttering up your calendar. They’re simple, easy tasks which you need to do, but no one will die if you don’t get them done today or tomorrow.
I keep my Quick Lists in Evernote, one note per list. Each item gets a checkmark, so I can check them off as I do them.