Capture everything that needs to get done (whether big or small, whether now or later) in a logical system outside of your head. You might have made a list when feeling overwhelmed - what if you did that all the time, with everything? Work projects today 'have no edges', and jobs don't have clear descriptions. In response to this, we gotta be good at cutting and defining our tasks well. The task is not given; it has to be worked out. The outcome is not given; it has to be thought out. In other words, it is your responsibility to take everything that appears on your horizon and define/clarify what it means to you in practise. A system needs to
  1. Integrate the big picture with the nuts-and-bolts
  2. Funnel hundreds of bits of information into a logical system
  3. Prioritize
  4. Save more time than it takes to maintain
  5. Make things easier
Imagine what it would be like to be totally focused and flow through your workday. Just imagine it! People will trust you, and think you are reliable. This is good for social network and reputation.

Open Loops

  1. If it's on your mind, your mind's not clear. So get it into your system, outside your mind, where it won't get lost
  2. Decide exactly what the commitment is, what action it requires from you
  3. Remind yourself of that action at the right time.

Small-picture and big-picture

Taking care of the little things that arise (e.g. emails coming in) frees you up to focus on the big things like your projects.

The process

  1. Collect. Do this for everything - big or little, urgent or for later.
  2. Define & clarify what it means
  3. Organize
  4. Review things so you can make a choice of the best thing to do
  5. Do it. Choose using the 4-factor model:

Weekly review

Sync the project list with the task list by defining next-actions for each project


  1. Brainstorm
  2. Organize
  3. Decide when and where to act

Keeping the flow






Projects list


'Some day, maybe' lists


Checklists at all levels


Weekly review