The Mantra of Getting Stuff Done

  • Items feed Goals
  • Goals Feed Projects
  • Projects feed Tasks
  • Tasks schedule time
Stephen Gordon The Mantra of Getting Stuff Done

That’s my mantra of getting things done today.

The past few days I have gone through all my post-it notes, letters, articles, and scraps of paper and put them in an in-tray. I took all of that with all my emails, notebook notes, task management app entries, social media notifications, bookmarks, weblinks and courses and asked one question.

Does this support my 2019 Goals?

Where the answer was no the item was binned, gone, never to be looked at again.

Next, I looked at which project to allocate the item or if it should go to the Google Keep service I use as a Clippings tool. I’ve no need for these clippings right now, but I have a strong feeling they’ll be useful for a new story or business opportunity in the future.

Once I know which project the item belongs too I add it as a task.

All project tasks start with a verb to make it clear what has to be done with this item.

  • Research this article for conversion rate improvements for Client X
  • Add this tool to the Book marketing process
  • Edit the latest draft with these ProWriting Aid settings
  • Schedule this promotion campaign

The final step is to work through each project and schedule each task taking dependencies on other tasks into account. This gives me a start and finish date for each project.

Setting this all up is not a fun process. I’ve added over a thousand items to my project tool and binned half that again. Listening to Cormac McCarty’s ‘The Road’ with matching weather outside isn’t making it any more fun, but it is essential.

  • All unnecessary tasks have been binned
  • Profitable projects are highlighted
  • New income streams have appeared
  • Always shoot first in a post-apocalyptic environment

Tomorrow I’m ordering all the projects according to profitability. There’s always going to be a book project with a daily amount of time set aside leaving five hours a day for marketing projects.

I’ll use this available time to schedule current client work, prospecting, and another project I’m long overdue kicking off.

I’ve another 2-3 days of this. By the end of the week, I’ll have my workload for the year with expected income sketched out. The further out it goes the less confidence I’ll have in the forecast, but I’ll update projects weekly to avoid surprises as much as possible.

This is not the fun creative stuff, but it’s what builds the structure for the fun creative things to happen.

(Insert witty sign off here – I have planning numbness).