We found 125 Reddit comments about Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Well this seems like a good opportunity to post a few of the lessons I learned in my 20s.
To my former self:
If you're depressed, here's how to turn it around
Articles from reputable sources are a decent source of knowledge, but some quality business books will get you an infinitely better understanding of concepts. Here is my personal business book list if you want to get a "universal generalist" understanding of business:
Read this book, like yesterday:
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143126563/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_9FNDDbKFBSB1Y
Edit: apparently that's the new edition, I haven't read it, I endorse the original edition: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0142000280/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_OMNDDbEZQEPXN
It's not magic (nothing is magic) but it started my journey toward being more productive.
Not a new faculty member -- I started out almost 20 years ago -- but I quit a tenured, almost-full-professor position back in 2011 to start over at a different university that was better suited for my goals, in no small part because of questions like these. I could give a very long answer on this because it's something I've thought about a lot, but I'll keep it short and maybe others can fill in their ideas.
Context: I work at a regional public university (26K students) and am pre-tenure but on the tenure track, up for tenure and promotion in 3 more years. I have a teaching schedule of 24 credits every year, which shakes out to three courses a semester (usually two preps) along with expectations for service and a modicum of research production (we're primarily a teaching-oriented institution). Also and importantly: I have a wife and three little kids and they are way more important to me than my career.
With that background, I usually am working on my stuff about 9 hours per day during the week, and maybe 2-3 hours on the weekends although I prefer not to work on the weekends at all. And it works for me, as I just had a successful halfway-point review for tenure and promotion and all signs are indicating that tenure shouldn't be a problem for me when I finally come up for it.
You asked a bunch of questions in that last paragraph that seem unrelated but actually I think they all hinge on one thing -- making sure that there is a space in your life for work and a space in your life for your life, and making sure that there is no unwanted invasion of one space by the other. What works for me is:
Bootstrapped 10 years ago, kept the team tiny until just about 3 years ago. So I know the feeling!
You don't need to do it all. You need to do enough.
You're already on to a good first step: you've got a list of the 'buckets' you're spending your time in. Researching gigs, prospecting leads, emailing with clients, website redesign, social media. Plus, you know, the actual work. (For you: videography; for me: software engineering and operations.)
One sanity check is to accept that you're not going to get everything done. This is not the same as giving up, or lowing the bar, or accepting less for yourself or your business. It's a legitimate forcing function that will help you get organized and working on the right things.
If you can't do it all, then what do you do? How do you decide on what it is the most important?
Start with your buckets. There may be an inherent order of priority to them. I might suggest you start with billing and accounting for work that's been done. You don't want to neglect that, otherwise you just invalidate your hard work. Then there's the actual doing of billable work, which everything else is meant to support. Last, the supporting activities, like marketing.
You have a fixed amount of time in the day. Give each of these buckets a fixed amount of time, and a position on your schedule, relative to their priority. You could spend the first hour sending invoices, receiving payments, doing general bookkeeping and planning. Then your project management, reviewing emails with clients, prioritizing tasks for the day. The rest of the morning, dive in to your billable work. If you don't have billable work at the moment, build a hobby project that you can use for marketing.
After lunch, spend an hour on promotion, then back into a couple hours of work. Closing out the day, another block of communication with clients, then research opportunities and prospect for leads, along with whatever other habit might help you unplug and unwind so you can get some rest and recovery.
So time management is important. You don't have to plan out your day in five-minute increments, but it's good to have some rhythms and rituals. The important part is that you apply some thought to the kinds of tasks you're doing, where they're coming from, and the relative value of those types of tasks and the tasks themselves. You can't control the volume of supporting tasks, so focus on controlling your blocks of time. Limit the unlimited, apply whatever sorting criteria you can, and focus on finishing what you start.
You may not be able to do it all, and you don't need to do it all in order to be successful. You need to do good valuable work for your clients, and enough supporting work to get paid for it, to keep more work coming, and to keep improving the business itself.
I'll wrap up with maybe slightly more prescriptive pieces of advice.
If you don't already have one, you definitely want a bookkeeper and an accountant. Clean books from day one is super valuable. You don't want tax season to be a major time sink. There are plenty of solo or small CPA shops in your area that work with small businesses on a retainer basis. I'd rather spend $500/mo on a bookkeeper+CPA combo than a virtual assistant.
Outsource to software tools as much as possible. This Twitter thread is probably overkill for what you need at your scale. But you may get some good ideas. Software scales really well, you can get a lot done with a $50/mo or (eventually) a $500/mo tool.
If you choose not to use software, and scale with people, make sure that everything is written down and inspected! You should be able to take someone's notes on how they're doing a task, and replicate it yourself. If I was doing one thing differently, this is something I'd do more of. Do a task the first time, document it the second, and by the 10th or 20th time you can think about delegating or designing a system.
Get really good at email. Gmail has a bunch of great tools, get to know them. Commit to inbox zero every day; multiple times a day. Snooze liberally. If it's in the inbox, it's an action item you're working on right now. If it's not actionable, get rid of it. You can skim quickly, but remember, you can't do it all.
If your email back and forth consists of scheduling calls or meetings, stop now and check out Calendly. You need it, or something like it, to take the guesswork out of scheduling.
Your personal productivity is important. Getting Things Done is worth studying, if you haven't already. Check out GTD in 15 minutes for an overview of the book's content.
And last but not least, remember to take time for yourself! You need time away from work to rest and recharge and be a person. That's the wellspring of your creativity and drive to be an entrepreneur and a creator. Nurture it. And have fun!
"Getting Things Done" by David Allen.
I've read a good number of self-help books at this point, and I think Getting Things Done has had the largest impact on my productivity. What's so great about it is that it helps you get a system in place for remaining productive, and explains why work nowadays is different from work in the past. It also emphasizes getting work done in a stress-free way, so you can not only be a productive machine but also be relaxed while doing so. Highly recommend to anyone.
You will pick up the knowledge fairly quickly, but the wisdom part comes slowly.
Read some books:
Going to make a suggestion to read Getting Things Done.
This book was transformative for me, both in terms of mindset AND behavior, before I was diagnosed (I was having trouble at work, in almost exactly the same way you describe) and after knowing more about what I was dealing with.
I still grab it from the library every once in a while to brush up, or when I feel my mind straying from practice.
You'll notice that this is not a usual "to do" list in a few ways:
Read Getting Things Done by David Allen. The things I like about the GTD system:
Start out with a notepad and pen at your desk, when something strikes you or a task comes in. Write it down. Eventually the problem solver in you will kick in after about a week or two of doing this to develop a more efficient process.
Look in to stuff like Getting Things Done to help review organization systems that are out there currently.
Personally I keep my e-mail organized by folder and if it is unread then it means I need to address it. I always have a notepad or notebook for quick scribble notes, tasks from walk-ins and other stuff I can't type up quickly. Everything else is stored in Evernote (or eventually gets there) with major tasks set as reminders and a to-do list in that reminder note.
I'm sure you've probably heard it before, but GTD seeks to solve exactly this -- getting things out of your mind and into a system that you trust so that they stop bothering you all the time and you can focus on just the task at hand.
There are two parts of GTD that really helped with feeling overwhelmed by inputs and afraid of loose ends:
GTD by David Allen
I'll describe my new system for time and info management that's been working well.
Keep a memo book and a pen in your pocket where ever you go. You could use a phone, but those run out of battery and generally take more effo
Basically information is going to be dumped on you the whole semester. You're going to forget stuff. Even if you don't forget stuff, you're going to waste time thinking about stuff that paper can remember for you. Use your memo to jot down everything you need to do, any important thought or action. Add it to a more permanent system later.
One of my memo book page might read like:
> 08 / 23
My two cents though is that using evernote or any online notetaking system is better. All of these systems come from the book Getting Things Done.
Here's a guide on using evernote in a more systematic way.
Here is some advice with a degree of seriousness.
I like the tips by MaryMadcap.
I think personally I'd need some combination of a bullet journal + the techniques in Getting things Done . The lack of a "tickler file" really bothers me, plus a couple other techniques in this book.
While watching the bullet journal video, I thought it was going to be like analog/digital notebook + software that automatically organizes your tasks according to your preferences on your computer given what you write in the notebook. I've been looking into this space for a while, and have been disappointed by the lack of a good set of options (at least that aren't prohibitively expensive (e.g. $200+ ) for a partial solution).
For a taste, see this Ted talk by the author.
The book that finally helped me was Getting Things Done. Basically for me the art of breaking a task down into well-defined tasks I can focus on for a few minutes at a time really helps.
Online courses are really hit or miss. Most college courses on "business" don't really teach how to start or run a small business. They either teach big business... how to work in a large corporation... or how to create a startup. Both of those are markedly different from starting and running a small business (even an online one).
There are some great books about starting and running a small business, though. Here are a few of my favorites:
Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs
This is an excellent book on business finances for the non-accounting types. I took accounting classes in college but never really got what all the financial reports really meant to my business' health. This will teach you what's important in the reports, what you should look out for, and how to read them. This is critically important for a small business owner to understand, even if you plan to hire a bookkeeper and accountant.
The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Awesome book about building systems in your business to really grow it to the point where it's not just a job for the owner. It's easy to read and probably one of the top 5 business books of all time.
Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey
This is a good book and covers several different aspects of entrepreneurship from hiring and managing employees to marketing, setting the vision, etc. It's hokey at times, but is a good read.
The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey
Not necessarily a "small business" book, but easily my top #1 book recommendation of all time. It's hugely applicable to any professional, or anyone really. I re-read this book every couple of years and still get more out of it after almost 20 years.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
THE productivity book. Even if you only absorb and implement 25% of the strategies in this book it will make a huge difference in your level of productivity. It's really the game-changing productivity system. This is one of the biggest problems with small business owners - too much to do and no organization. Great read.
This book changed my life
The one that changed my life the most was Getting Things Done by David Allen. This book taught me how to turn all of my various ideas into concrete actions.
If you want to hire someone, you probably want a life coach. If you're looking for someone who will help you on many of these angles, that would be a life coach. Someone with a more detached, professional view of your life who can provide motivation, a sounding board, accountability, etc.
Now, seeing as you are broke AF, I'm not sure if a life coach is affordable. So if you want to DIY this, I have a couple of suggestions.
Say no more, fam.
You don't need a degree to run a business. Having your own business allows you to experiment with these books first hand instead of taking some professor's word for it. Professor's usually just read what the book says. If they were actually good at running a business they'd probably be doing that.
Getting Things Done
It took me years of seeing people recommend this book over and over before I picked up a copy and read it. I wish I'd done it sooner. I even got my boss to pay for a copy to keep at work, and bought a copy for my Kindle for home.
Getting into the GTD "groove" takes a while - losing old habits and forming new ones always does - but even if you implement his plan halfway and imperfectly, you'll be twice as organized and productive as you are now.
Some would say I read too much, but I really enjoyed:
founders at work: Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company. (This is one of my favorite books ever!)
the art of the start:Kawasaki provides readers with GIST-Great Ideas for Starting Things-including his field-tested insider's techniques for bootstrapping, branding, networking, recruiting, pitching, rainmaking, and, most important in this fickle consumer climate, building buzz.
the innovator's dilemma: Focusing on “disruptive technology,” Christensen shows why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. Whether in electronics or retailing, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know when to abandon traditional business practices. Using the lessons of successes and failures from leading companies, The Innovator’s Dilemma presents a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.
And in terms of getting your life together to the point where you are responsible enough to lead others, I would highly suggest Getting Things Done by David Allen
You most certainly do not need PM software for your to-do list.
I struggled with this for a long time. I highly recommend Getting Things Done by David Allen - Amazon Link.
I ended up settling on MS OneNote to keep track of everything in my life. The desktop version is very powerful, and the mobile app is good for review and short notes on the go.
WARNING: It is very easy to go overboard with organizing with the GTD method. It took me a long time to get it running smoothly (David Allen suggests a full 2 years before you reap the full benefits), but now I have all of my Tasks, Projects, Someday/Maybe's, and various levels of Goals for work and home neatly organized and out of my head.
If that is too much here is a much more simple method for the short term. Grab a notebook and write down everything you have to do. As for prioritizing, pick 2-4 things you absolutely have to get done tomorrow and write those on a separate piece of paper. Repeat this daily.
Have you tried Todoist? That's where I went after Wunderlist :)
As far as GTD, you may want to read David Allen's book - https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
It's very interesting and helpful.
Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Do that before anything. Write out your goals in great details. Consider this book also, for getting things done. I would consider another shroom trip with the exact intention you have here. Sit in silence for a while, journal what you want to change, then trip. 18, however common, is a dangerous time to start depending on stims, and they won't give you wisdom. Especially if you don't have a plan. Sure, you'll probably feel great and may improve for a while, but its so damn easy for it to end up worse. There's countless stories of that. If you do go that route, I strongly believe in the advice that you plan out EXACTLY what you will do before you take stims. Also, hang out with people who are living the way you want to live.
Read this book, Getting Things Done.
Getting Things Done has helped me manage all the "stuff" i have to do.
I quite like Getting Things Done but it has a few drawbacks. I'll paste in one of my older comments about the system.
>One of the most commonly recommended systems is called Getting Things Done.
&nbsp; A while back David Allen wrote a book describing his system for Getting Things Done. Unfortunately the system doesn't really take a lot of explaining so to get the page count he needed Allen included a lot of what many feel is fluff. If you like the system and want to get a deeper understanding I would recommend the book, but if you just want to get your feet wet there are several sites out there that have nice quick start guides.
&nbsp; This is a nice site that explains Getting Things Done quite well. The site 43folders also has several nice blog posts on using GTD. One major drawback I have found is that the original GTD is very much based on a paper based system. Built for the classic office worker with a giant In tray full of papers. I highly recommend adaption to suit your personal needs.
Personally I use a notebook version of GTD like this guide here.
>I also now use google keep quite a bit for whenever I need to make a quick note. There are some other systems out there but I suggest looking at GTD first so even if it doesn't work out, you will know what about the system does not work.
Edit: I hate it when people change their websites all willy nilly.
For dealing with e-mails and various scraps of paper, I recommend reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. For organizing any long term tasks or projects, I recommend The Project Success Method by Clinton Padgett.
Other than that, I would recommend trying to go paperless as much as possible. Purchase a good scanner like the Fujitsu ScanSnap and try to utilize smart phone apps that can convert images to PDF (such as CamScanner for Android). I would also recommend using services such as DropBox and Evernote to help keep notes and files organized and synced across all your computers/devices.
Just remember the key to a good system is something that is simple to use. If it takes too much time you won't stick to it and your filing system will begin to fall apart.
Been there. We all have. Keep that in mind too—the last thing you need is to feel down on yourself for being human. Remember that in some ways, you're just a machine wired to feel this way. Know how your machinery works, and you can make it work better.
For now focus on your next action and task at hand—but when you're out of this, two books:
This ended up much longer than I intended. Apologies for the wall of text. I know that was one of the points but I felt compelled to respond to each point.
If this post was a mirror, I would see my own reflection. Many of your points hit home for myself.
Here are some of the ways I try to combat these. I'm not always as successful as I would like in applying these consistently but I have found them helpful.
I use Omnifocus, having read the book "Getting Things Done" over summer. I really like the program and the book's ideas, but I still have some trouble implementing the entire method.
I suggest looking into "Getting Things Done." The book is cheap $3 used and there are many different programs, from pen and paper to digital suites, that fit any need
I love to-do lists! I got a lot of help from GTD (Getting Things Done) It's the one paperback I've bought a couple of copies of (the first one is still around here somewhere, falling apart it's so ragged, underlined, highlighted, and marked up!)
Putative end of message, too much information follows...
That led to using Outlook to the max, which led to Exchange Server (I set it up at home, way back with ES 5.5, lol), and finally sprung for Office365 a couple or three years ago so I could track all the lists from just about any PC, tablet, or phone.
The best takeaways:
Read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I was in a similar situation as you and that book changed my life.
Aside from all of the usual technical avenues you need to get familiar with, I strongly recommend working on your time management skills. Sysadmin work is often "interrupt driven". Aside from the long term projects and research, you need to know that you are also responsible for immediately responding to problems and requests. Sometimes it's once or twice a day, other times it could be a day of 20-30 interruptions. Sometimes these interruptions are technical and mission critical (server down), other times they are political (CIO needs you to run a report for him NOW).
This is often one of the key factors that burn sysadmins out. It seems fun at first, but can quickly become maddening, leave you feeling frazzled at the end of the day, and undermine your long-term projects.
I strongly recommend reading the books Time Management for System Administrators and Getting Things Done
This is one of those soft skills that can make or break you.
Try this http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1290284531&amp;sr=8-1
I've been planning on reading it for years now.
Willpower Doesn't Work
Just burned through this newly released really helping me gain a different perspective on how to make real effective change in my life. It is working too!
The Four Hour Workweek
This book honestly changed my life. I read it at a real personal tipping point and it helped me drastically change my life. It helped me get the courage to start my own business, define my real worst case scenarios, define what I really want with my life, and how to help myself remove myself from the equation of making money. I also learned about the pareto principle 80/20, and how to make it work for you like firing the customers that take up 80% of your time but give you 10% of your revenue type of people, and focusing on the 20% of customers that provide 80% of your revenue. Applying this all throughout my life has been amazing.
Getting Things Done
Really freaking good productivity processes book.
Think and Grow Rich
$0.49 on kindle? just go buy it if you haven't already. This book is a gem.
Pretty much what David Allen says in his book,"Getting Things Done".
Be organized, and ask a ton of questions cause if it's anything like my experience, no one is going to go out of their way to show you how to do anything unless you bug them about it.
I recommend this book for getting organized if you are naturally disorganized person like myself http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280.
My old accounting professor had a saying, "When you first start in public accounting, you're literally worth less than nothing. Because if you were just worth nothing, then other productive people would not have to take the time to teach you anything." Don't take that too literally, but just know that even if you've passed the CPA exams, you'll only know about 10% of what you're doing as baengelbert says.
Be enthusiastic, be humble, and ask a crap ton of questions and remember that the learning system is a "pull system." They will not push learning onto you, they force you to pull it out of them. A dumb system in my opinion, but that's the way it is.
Goal planning depends on your values. Once you can verbalize your values then you'll be able to formulate your goals. That said these resources will help you with the next steps: Read Thinkertoys for an explanation of mind-mapping. GTD by David Allen. Get familiar with Evernote to keep you on track. Watch these for an explanation of how to synthesize the two. Read and watch all the Brian Tracy info you can get your hands on. Become proficient with these resources and you'll accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible
Probably Getting Things Done.
Read this book - Getting Things Done.
Depending on the project, I'll setup a Trello board and create a bunch of sub tasks depending on the complexity of the project. I'll then order / group them on how quickly those tasks can be done, and what order they have to be done in. I then fit those into my schedule around everything else that's going on.
I highly recommend the book "Getting Things Done:"
The author talks a lot about efficiently using whatever system of organization you use. Some things from the book off the top of my head:
Your system should be easy to use, so that it doesn't interfere with you actually getting things done. A lot of people will have overly complex systems that require a lot of time to manage and organize. You shouldn't be spending 30 minutes just organizing your to-do-list, or checking it every 5 minutes.
Another pitfall is just making a giant list of projects you need to do (which is what most people do.) You need to actually decide what is the next bite-sized chunk that can be completed for a project / task and write it down. For example, putting "Learn to Code Websites," sounds like, and is, a monumental task. It will sit on your list forever since your brain doesn't want to figure out what "Learn to Code" means and you will never feel like you are making progress on that task. Instead, you should recognize that as one of your more long term goals, and the next task to further that goal might be "find a resource online to start learning code from." Maybe you take 30 minutes doing research and find a site you like, bam you check that shit off of your list and you've actually made a step toward your goal. Then later on or the next day when you are organizing your list for the day, you might make the next task for that goal as "read 1 instructional article."
Another tip is to write down literally everything you want to accomplish, whether it be long term or that you need to take out the trash, on a huge list (this is not a daily to-do-list like above). You aren't going to use this list to keep organized and help you accomplish things, but to just get all that shit out of your head. The more things you have floating in your head that you feel you need to remember the more stressed out and overwhelmed you feel. Writing your goals and ideas on a "everything I ever want to do" type of list that you can easily access from time to time will free up a lot of mental energy.
One of my favorite things about the book is that one of its main tenants is spending time with friends and family: Always, always, always make time to spend with loved ones, even if you are busy, because what is the point of getting anything done if you aren't living life?
Since my first few suggestions have already been made:
David Allen - Getting Things Done
When I read this as a teenager, it restructured the way I think about being organized and pursuing goals. I'd like to think that if everyone read it, a decent chunk of the population would actually follow its tenets, and society would become a bit more orderly and goal-oriented as a result.
You can try Getting Things Done, which is a methodology as well as a book describing the methodology. It revolves around a very simple idea: get everything you have to deal with organized in a systematic way and off your mind by putting it on an appropriate list. Then when you have free time, you consult the list and carry out a task as appropriate. The most important aspect is that you can only be productive if you are not thinking about all the stuff you have to do, which is why it's important to write it all down and categorize it. This way you don't worry if you've forgotten something.
The details are only marginally more complicated: there are several lists with different categories and a strict procedure that ensures that you are getting through them. But it's very simple and doesn't require any special skills or equipment.
Read this book. Using it and Google Tasks has helped me stay on track. Getting-Things-Done
I use Trello (which is available on anything that connects online) with a layout inspired from the book Getting Things Done.
Getting Things Done specifically talks about this problem. Give it a try
If you're on a Mac there is a program called Things that is modeled after David Allen's Getting Things Done
edit: It's essentially a hand written To-do list that organizes due dates etc for you.
Here's a book that's really worked for me at work:
Getting Things Done
AKA "GTD". Lots of blogs about this method, too. The key is to work out a single, bulletproof system for dealing with/scheduling/deferring tasks as they come in. Once you've done one of those three actions, there's no need to remember it. Things don't get left hanging, and you can reduce the number of things on your mind.
I do this with Outlook 2007 at work. A couple times a day I go through my entire inbox:
The book Getting Things Done
Evernote. Been religious for years now. I liked the book Getting Things Done and I built that system into Evernote.
Ran into the same problem a few years back. David Allen's GTD helped immensely. I suggest get the audiobook and keep the paperback as a reference. http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
This book really changed my life a few years ago. You can read a great deal about the methods around the internet as well (buying the book is not strictly required).
I've also found pairing it's methods with Emacs org-mode and MobileOrg on my Android Tablet and smartphone to be extremely effective.
I'm gonna throw some book titles at you.
This is a crucial skill if you intend to do anything with real complexity in the future. Develop a few good habits and you'll use them for the rest of your career. Focus first on the process and then buy tools to help you maintain the process.
I use "Things" to organize my life, but there are loads of free tools out there.
If you need to be strict about time, write it down in a work calender as you go through your day. If you sit at a computer for a majority of the work or have a smartphone, you might want to look time tracking solutions.
I could write more here, but the two most important parts of organizing are getting stuff out of your head and putting it in a single place where you can easily recover it when needed.
I keep a monthlyYEAR.txt file where I will write short notes throughout the month on what I've done for monthly reports. I usually keep a high level todo.txt file for just keep track of what I need to get done. Sometimes I'll have specific todo files that go with individual projects. If you keep simple text files, using version control (git/mercurial) is a lot simpler. If I had a lot of projects going on at once, I'd probably use a todo.txt file on with dropbox or a google docs.
Getting Things Done
Eat That Frog
Org Mode for Emacs
David Allen - GTD
You don't even have to follow his processes, the ideas alone are worth the read.
I've been exactly where you are. ADHD was, and in many ways still is, a defining feature of my life. Here's what I wish I'd known when I was your age:
-If you're feeling overwhelmed, there's nothing wrong with slowing down for a while. Consider dropping any honors or AP classes and taking an easier course load. The very worst case scenario is that if you want to attend a four-year-college, you'll have to attend community college first. By the time you're an adult, not even the world's most colossal snobs will care where you spent your first two years of university.
-Become an organizational freak, and do it ASAP. Keep your room squeaky clean at all times. Be someone who has a conscious system for staying on track. One of the most beloved systems for this, which also helps people without ADHD, is laid out in Getting Things Done by David Allen
-Start thinking about what you want your life to be like as an adult. What kind of career do you want? How important is money to you now, and how important do you think it will be by the time you're closing in on 30? What kind of work can you do for an extended period of time without making yourself completely miserable? These things are important for everyone to think about, but I think people with ADHD are even more prone to ignoring these questions. One of the most well-received books for helping address these questions is Designing Your Life, which is based on a course at Princeton. (Disclaimer: I just started reading it, so I can't offer a full assessment. But it seems like a book that someone in your situation would greatly benefit from reading.)
-Get physically fit, whatever that means to you. If fitness means being able to run marathons or swim fast, learn to do that. If it means looking in the mirror and seeing a ripped physique, learn to lift weights properly. Fitness is one of the world's most reliable confidence boosters, and if you're someone who struggles with ADHD, anything that can make you feel better about yourself is something you'll want to consider doing.
-Read about successful people with ADHD. It turns out that a lot of people with ADHD tend to perform well in creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. Personally, I'm working on building my own business, and I wish I'd started doing that a long time ago.
-Medication is an option, but don't rely on it exclusively. A pill isn't going to fix your ADHD, but it might put you in a frame of mind that helps you manage it more easily. Personally I can't deal with the side effects of the ADHD meds I've tried, so I don't currently take them.
Two books made a big impact on me after graduating: Effective Immediately and Getting Things Done. I also recommend seeking out a mentor you trust and setting up biweekly meetings to discuss general career-related topics.
Okay so check out www.trello.com - it's free and it's a great way to organize projects.
It utilizes the ideas behind the "kanban" system (which is basically a large board with columns and tasks in each column that is put up at an office so the entire place can see which things need to be done, which things are in progress, and which things have been completed). Kanban itself is great at limiting your amounts of works-in-progress so your brain isn't so scattered.
Trello takes that idea of a system, makes it more flexible, since you can have different "boards" which contain "stacks" of "cards." (Obviously all digital but based on the real life physical versions, with more power.)
You can open the card, add a description, add attachments, add checklists, label the card, give the cards due dates, assign cards to people (even your spouse if you're trying to move or plan a vacation), comment on things, and basically get EVERYONE on the same page of a project without a bunch of that back and forth between emails, phone calls, and not knowing who is doing what. Here's a blog post on how to manage a move with trello with your SO, as an example.
The cards can also be moved from stack to stack, so it can go from to do, doing, and then done - or you can name the stacks whatever you need based on the project. (Like if you want just a stack of some ideas to go through for a project before putting it on a "to-do" stack. But all stacks can be named and renamed, so you're never stuck.)
There are options that you can turn on if you need them, such as card aging (see how long a card has been on a project), or even voting on a card (like you have a list of vacation ideas for your family, you can have them vote on the place they'd like to go, or even vote on the places that everyone wants to see during the vacation for prioritizing.)
It's simple to use but it has SO many options for how to use it. It really depends on what you need! You can also sort boards into different organizations, so I've got one for my photography business, one for my blog, one for my hubby and I, one for a large creative project I'm working on that is it's own organization, one for my friend's business that I'm helping her with, one for all my websites and graphics work, and so on. Each organization has various boards, so for my websites and graphics work, I've got a different board for each website/project that needs to be worked on.
Heck even for personal stuff, I've got a board dedicated to reading more so I have a list of books I want to read, which one I'm currently reading, which one I'm completing. Or a board for GIFs - one stack for all the movies I want to make into gifs. From there I pick one, make a stack for the individual movie, and then keep track of the bits of gif I want to make.
Okay so for this project with my boss, I'm making a website for our company. It involves LOTS of content, and a big problem was messaging back and forth to figure out which pictures she had sent me and which things she needs to send me.
Originally, I'd have to individually go through it by my email and find all of them, and even then the pictures are all labels like abc1.jpg abc2.jpg for example, so not really well organized. This system, we have a card for each section that requires unique pictures, and so she uploads all those specific pictures to the card. If a picture is too small or there's something weird with it, I can comment on it. If there is something with the pictures group she wants changed, she'll add it to the card's checklist. This way, we both know what we have and what is needed without a bazillion back and forth emails/ims/phone calls as it is smack-dab-visual-in-your-face.
OKAY that is my epic speech about Trello. It's my homebase for projects. Since I'm using the "getting things done" system for emptying my brain out, my process is this - use Google now on my android and say "okay google, note to self - do such and such and such" - and I use toodledo for my uber-to-do-list for optimal brain emptying (GTD is about having a "mind like water" - the guy's motto is "your brain is for creating ideas, not storing them" and so you get EVERYTHING out of there that you're wanting to do, and I mean literally EVERYTHING so it's not eating up your mental ram).
The "note to self" function on google now is amazing because it makes my process even quicker now - the first time you use it, it allows you to pick an app that you want to place the idea at. So all of my ideas go into toodledo, then I do a weekly review to sort them into folders and etc. Then I pick a few things from each folder and put it on my "on dock" Trello board - which things I'd like to get done as part of my "daily seven" and then move one item at a time to "currently working on" - so I'm much more focused (even when I'm not, I can come back to focus on what I'm working on instead of OMG HERE ARE ALL FIVEHUNDREDBILLION THINGS I WANT TO DO WHICH ONE AHHHHH.) So... thems my productivity secrets. :D
PS: If you're the type who has lots of brain power and have lots you want to do/accomplish, I also highly recommend reading "getting things done" - it's like $10 and it's great. I think it's pretty adaptable to, based on who you are - a lot of business people do it, but I'm a creative and a business person, so I use it for my "stuff to get done" but I also use it to store ALL of my creative ideas for photo/graphics projects I might want to do, so if I come up with brilliance, I can just store it in toodledo for later. :D
Getting Things Done by David Allen - provides a (for me, life-changing) system to organise your life
It works. I just found it hard to keep up with doing it every day. The free alternative I believe is called "Sugar memo." More than either I would highly suggest Getting Things Done by David Allen for more information on the concept and help with implementation.
Check out "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.
Amazon link for the lazy
It has totally changed my life. Basically, it's a way of organizing projects in a way that actually allows you to get them done. Our to-do lists are usually way too vague. This system has you focus solely on the next action that is to be completed, which makes projects way more manageable. Going off that, when planning a project, you focus on the next ACTIONABLE step to take.
Example: You want to tile your bathroom. Instead of having "Tile bathroom" on your to-do list, you have "Tile Bathroom" as a project. You then brainstorm the actions that need to be taken to reach that goal. You then focus on the next actionable goal, such as, "find 3 styles of tile I like". Once that is done, "decide on tile". Then, "order tile from hardware store". You don't add an action until the last action is complete.
On top of all that, everything is externalized. Meaning you get it out of your brain and onto paper, Iphone, whatev. This is great for ADDers. It may seem like a lot of work, but once you set up your own system, it really is life changing. And there are a MILLION websites dedicated to implimenting the system.
I always have a pen and Field Notes with me in my pocket, jotting down notes, thoughts, and projects.
tl/dr: Getting Things Done by David Allen solved my inability to finish projects and everyone should check it out.
> teach him organizational & study skills.
Okay, this sounds more and more like me.
I was a "smart kid" who hated homework because I could ace the test. This wasn't very helpful when it came to college and work. It took me reading the book Getting Things Done to make me get my act together.
Now, I will start the day making a list of what I need to do, including action items that will be the first step (not "Clean House" but "Vacuum Living Room", or not "Make a crafting area" but "Move all objects out of what will be crafting area"). I feel awesome when I can check something off the list, and that leads directly to the next phase: Review.
Going back and checking what you've really done. Are the goals you had last month the same as this month? Now that all objects are out of the crafting area, let's not "design craft area", but "place tables and set up sewing machine"
You get the idea. Took me until I was in my 30's to really kick my own ass and get things done. I wish I had read this book when I was in high school.
p.s. "Time Management for System Administrators" has almost the same exact advice, which make me really "believe" in this setup. It works!
>I've tried the ginger ale and lime in a highball glass trick before
I hadn't heard of this, will try it. Thanks. You may have just made 'vendor cocktail mixers' much more tolerable.
I've had a lot of success with this. It does a great job in taking the shaky edge off caffeine. I have since cut out all caffeine but green tea.
In high-stress times I find that one caplet of l-theanine provides very subtle but effective relief.
>For the sake of context, what do you do for work?
I'm an infrastructure architect and technical consultant specializing in virtualization and storage... i.e. I'm a few layers lower in the OSI model than your guys. Note that I'm not in management - you'd probably be my boss.
>What do your daily high-energy habits look like? First thing to fall off for me is exercise.
Exercise ceases first, followed rapidly by cooking, hanging out with people outside work.
Fortunately I'm good at faking it.
>Do you use some sort of personal task management system? I tried to replace my to-do lists with a Scrum board. It was overkill.
Scrum is overkill. Great for teams though, depending on the project... we had one go south on Scrum actually. I use ActiveInbox, which is really just a vehicle for GTD. I don't adhere to it perfectly, but a lot of the philosophy has stuck and I do in fact get things done.
My productivity is still low, but relative from 6 months ago I'm doing so much better and I can manage that workflow with a lot less stress.
Basically, a while back errantventure gave me some advice and this really great book recommendation that I read and has put me on the right track: Getting Things Done
To summarize the main point and plagiarize what he said to me half a year ago:
To be productive, effort doesn't scale well; systems of managing your work do.
I don't know what would've happened to me if I hadn't read it. Before, I kind of felt like a failure for not being organized enough, now I realize I was trying to force myself to use tools that didn't fit with my workflow. Instead, you change and alter your system around your needs.
Also, I watch your Neoliberal Genesis Evangelion video at least once a week.
Just finished reading Getting Things Done
Pretty good book on managing projects and minimizing stress.
Motivation to keep going differs for everyone, but I find that its easier to focus and not burn-out once you have a set of goals for the day and that irregardless of whatever happens I am getting X Y Z finished today.
No. I think you're hitting on something very valid here.
I'm a rather ardent supporter of the GTD Methodology
. The super-hyper-short version of it is that you get everything down and out of your head into a trusted system. Allow yourself the luxury of forgetting. Then set up reminders to bring things back up when they are relevant, allow you to focus on one small piece of the big puzzle at a time without letting it all overwhelm you.
Honestly, I listened to the audiobook version, and would encourage anyone to go through that book, either audiobook, kindle, or tree-killer. I have a .m4b in my dropbox if you're legitimately too poor to afford any of them. PM me and I'll send you a link.
It really, really looks from here that you're on a hardcore path to burnout with too many "big things" that are in reality amorphous piles of "stuff" that need to be broken down into much, much smaller individual tasks, and those tasks need to be important, specific, and do-able.
Anyway, I've been rambling. Check it out - I promise you it will help.
I can think of at least three great business books in helping concentration. From the technical, the medium ground and the big picture; in order: Getting Things Done by David Allen, FOCUS by Stephen Covey, and Execution - The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.
How to Get Things Done.
The author has an hour-long lecture that he gave the google campus somewhere online, too.
Edit: Here it is.
OP may be a candidate for GTD. It's a cult, you know.
One of the things that's helped me the most, both with time management and with some of my cognitive deficiencies (crappy memory, easy to get overwhelmed in a situation) has been a book called Getting Things Done. The basic gist of it is every thing that you think you need to do gets written down (everything from Make Loan Payment to Remember This Song on the Radio) in one concrete place and reviewed throughout the day, and you sit aside one day a week to do a thorough review of everything. It's a fairly common book, so you should be able to get it at your library if you're interested.
Its a time management system. GTD stands for Getting Things Done which is the name of the book that introduces it.
It is as much a theory as it is a system. He introduces a set of principles and gives you the freedom to implement them however you want. I've found it useful, but some people are dogmatic about it.
This helped me a lot: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
you might be interested in the Getting Things Done system, it's sort of like what you're trying to do.
here's a quick overview. there's also a book and about a billion other websites about it
I came here to say this. GTD seems like it would exactly meet your needs. I was a disorganised mess. After reading it I am still a mess, but I am organised.
The general thrust of GTD is:
I've found the organizational system in Getting Things Done really helpful.
If you've been a writer or artist, programmer or project manager, the show touches on a number of topics that speak to getting more out of your personal and professional life.
Merlin Mann's work (of Inbox Zero fame) is largely influenced by the book Getting Things Done, and pulls a lot from that. Let me dive into a few topics that the show has covered.
I have and I can still fall into being lazy.
My personal method is to attend to whatever I might be lazy about as soon as it comes up. That has been remareably successful for me and I am a different person in that regard. Vestiges remain, but no one would ever call me lazy today.
I also attended a seminar and later bought this book by David Allen. I can recommend this and have to a few friends who desired to be pro-active and less lazy.
Tools are one thing but I would argue having the right methodology is just as important.
For tools a couple that I love are:
First, let's take a deep breath in and smile :)
Have you considered getting therapy for porn addiction? I am about to start mine and feel excited about it.
> The lack of time.. to do anything. The lack of energy & waning motivation makes me an unreliable idiot to everyone around me. The need to develop the necessary skills for my career is simply postponed... deemed unnecessary by my addiction. The addiction has a brain of its own, has its own ulterior goals that heavily contradict where I want to be. That's the pathetic situation it gets me in.
You have really nice hobbies. I urge you to continue to do them.
Even I recently started reading (actually just listening to audio-books while traveling on the bus), and that has helped changed my outlook towards life. It has made me smarter, more enthusiastic, more introspective.
If you can find just 10 min/day, I highly recommend you to read the book Getting stuff done. Once you do that, I promise that you will have lot more time in life, and would be able to read more books like the power of habit, GTD etc..
And I must mention this podcast episode on motivation that changed my life.
Sorry for bombarding you with all these resources. If you find just one useful thing among all of this, then all this would have served its purpose.
It all starts with just a small step, so good luck!
I read this book, "Getting Things Done", and it changed my life. I didn't realize I was ADD until fairly late in the game. I went from being chronically unorganized and being karmically smacked around for neglecting really important things, to being on top of all the stuff I have to do.
The best part is that it's really easy, as in it's hardly more work than doing nothing at all. "GTD" is basically tailor-made for us ADD types.
Note: no affiliation to the author, etc. - just a happy user.
Ya, I use a method that mimics the process described in the following book: "Getting things done and the art of stress-free productivity". I modified the method further from this article.
Disclaimer: what works for me might not work for you. I can also be a bit . . . odd.
1)daily habit of 5-10 min of tiding and knolling every day. Deep clean once a month.
2) I don't schedule, but I always set a timer when I game for 2 hours or less. I'm making a concerted effort to game less and perhaps take a month off.
3) Work out in my P90X home gym immediately after work. I have to walk in the door, change clothes, and get started immediately after waking in the door or it's not going to happen. I can't even allow myself to sit down. Some people can do mornings, but sleepy me will not get up earlier than I have to.
4) Read the book [Getting Things Done] (http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280) As far as software goes I use Omnifocus.
5) [Soylent] (https://www.soylent.com/)
If you're serious about time management and productivity then I highly recommend you check out David Allen's "Getting Things Done".
Here is a summary video to get you started.
Here is David's website and the Amazon page for the book.
Best of luck.
I guarantee that Grey would recommend reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. On Hello Internet he says that it changed his life.
I recommend the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. It's an entire organization system, but it makes so much sense that you actually see the benefit of putting it into practice, and you just do it as a result.
Getting Things Done also /r/gtd
>Whatever idea or task you have, write it down somewhere. Once you have written everything down, your mind becomes decluttered and free from distractions. Since you know that your thoughts are safely stored somewhere, it removes the incessant feeling of “I need to remember… something” in your brain. This makes you completely focus on the task at hand.
>Edit: Holy shit, blew up
>Edit 2: If you want a more detailed strategy than just simply "writing it down", be sure to read this this book by David Allen: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
>Edit 3: Some people do not seem to understand this post. I mean write down all your good ideas and tasks, not things like "I really hate getting stuff stuck in my teeth" or "I should always put hot sauce on my pizza". Sigh.
>Edit 4: Google Keep is a fantastic app for this.
>Edit 5: This workflow diagram has made my life so much easier
>Edit 6: To quote one of the comments which explains my post pretty well: "I get very scatter brained and frustrated the more tasks I keep saying I need to get to. Usually a million little small odd jobs that don't require any real effort to complete but also easy to put off by not being urgent either.
>Eventually my mind feels stressed and cluttered and it takes a toll on my ability to think and be productive. Like my mind is expending effort to remember so many little tasks.
>When I write EVERYTHING down, and I mean everything, my mind feels a million times lighter because I can forget it all and let go - the thoughts are on paper, not in my head, so I don't have to remember them. When I feel productive I just grab the list and knock some tasks off. When new things come up I add to the list.
>It's one of the VERY few things that GENUINELY helps my mind feel better and less stressed.
>Seriously give it a try if you feel a heavy mind. Hopefully you'll get as much benefit as I do from it."
Unfortunately, every company is different. I can tell you that you might want to pick up a book about Emotional Intelligence (easily googleable) as it's a skill based on dealing with people. A lot of people recommend Getting Things Done by Dave Allen for managing projects https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
Project Management skills are huge. You're already crunched on time, so i'm not going to go recommend getting a PMP, but consider something like this:
As for general efficiency, I cant recommend GTD enough:
GTD has helped me turn 10-12 hour days into 6-8 hour days. The nature of my job requires me to sometimes deal with a crisis at any hour of the day/night, but overall I'm working fewer hours now than I did when I had a more typical office role.
Are all interesting books at your place in life.
> What are some things that you do to help yourself adjust to a life change such as this and what can I do/not do to help her.
Adjusting always takes time, but I would recommend the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It is not perfect, but if one follows the advice and focuses on the end results, it can make things much easier to organization and keep everything in order.
I would just give her the book and a filing system (depending on filing needs, it can be anything from a small file box to a filing cabinet) and hanging files with tabs and labels.
A trash can and a pen and pad of paper may be handy too, plus an "inbox" of some sort.
Getting Things Done is required reading for management staff at my company. I highly recommend it.
You need more staff. In the meantime, this...
That comes along as part of being organized in everything else in life as well. Once you understand that things have a place, and that they should always be in that permanent place, you'll become more organized.
I got motivated to become more organized by watching Randy Pausch's Time Management lecture. Then I read Getting Things Done to figure out how to put that into practice. Now, I keep the house clean and pay bills on time.
Are there certain features you're looking for?
Some people are very visual so they love task applications with calendar views. Some like to organize things into dozens of lists. Others want to use the GTD method.
Sure, I’d be happy to share.
I’ve only selected courses for semesters 1 & 2 for now. If there’s interest, I can update my list later on.
To give some context, my intention is to specialize in International Trade at the level of small to medium sized business. So while these first couple semesters are pretty standard business fundamentals, in semester 4 you’ll notice I start to choose courses based on developing specific skill sets that are applicable to my objectives.
I’ve ignored several courses which would be important for someone looking to get a complete and well rounded business education, but don’t seem critical for my goals.
Some courses I’ve skipped: Ethics (lol), Information Systems, Project Management, Calculus, Econometrics, Corporate Finance, Political Economics, Cyber Security, Human Resources.
Okay, on to the curriculum...
I am about to embark on a lengthy 1-2yr education so for me it makes sense to brush up on academics skills as force multipliers for my efforts later on. This section is totally optional though and not part of any business school curriculum.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
Getting Things Done.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet. It was a life changer for me.
Sounds like you need to try GTD. If you don't want to buy the book, there are some free guides out there.
Getting Things Done
This book is absolutely amazing! CGPGrey strongly recommended it saying it changed his procrastination habits and made him a better person
As I posted above my idea of creating a list and working my way through it is based on the GTD method: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
Its a technique to help simplify your life, but the parts I stress are: create an image (again, figure out how YOU want to introduce yourself to people. What sounds impressive to you? What would you enjoy?) now break it down into steps and how to achieve it. You should have long term, short term, things that will require skills, etc. Just make your way through the list!
Good luck :)
Does anyone have real practical experience with "Getting things done"? I'm wondering if it's worth something for engineers or if it's just a tool hyped by managers to make their work seem fancy.
EDIT: I'm talking about that
There's also an audiobook of it which is essentially a recording of one of his public events going over the book.
Buy these books, and practice everything in them:
You might find this helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
At a minimum it should help with your comment in the thread about biting off more than you can chew since you'll break up the tasks into more manageable (and less stressful) items.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity A lot of great stuff in this book
So...don't tell anybody, but I read a self-help/business book (all my friends were doing it) and have actually found it really helpful. Have you read Getting Things Done?
The main insight from this book that I found helpful is that the way I was making a to-do list was all but worthless because it contained quite a lot of vague things I felt like I should be doing something about. I (and apparently most people) just don't work that way. He suggests setting aside time to think very clearly, "What is the next concrete action for this, and when/where does it need to be done?" The "next actions" list is what you want to have in front of you to initiate activities. So, for example, if you want to send your Grandma a card and you write down "card to Grandma," but you don't have a card and you don't have an address and you haven't written the card, then you can't send a card to Grandma. Your next action is "Get card" - and preferably you'll have that in a place where you can easily combine it with any other errands. If you don't have an address, then another next action is, "Email (or call) Mom to get Grandma's address."
An almost therapeutic practice that this guy has clients do when they're overwhelmed with mental stuff is to get a stack of index cards or post-it notes, a designated "inbox" (can be a huge cardboard box or the middle of your room or your desk) 100 manila folders, and a filing box/cabinet, and just spend an entire day consolidating every single thing that's crowding up your mental space and putting it in a physical inbox. Every piece of junk in your room or car or whatever that you feel like you've been meaning to do something about goes in the inbox, either physically or on a slip of paper. Every last thing. Then you go through every last thing and decide what to do about it.
Are you supposed to do something with it? Is that action clearly defined? Does it take less than two minutes? Do it and get it out of the way.
Does it take longer? Is there a deadline? Is there a specific date it needs to happen on? Put that on your calendar - but only the day it really has to be done on. Don't crowd your calendar up with maybes or good intentions. Put the firm commitments on there so that you can trust it. If the rest of the system is in place, you'll easily be able to access the more flexible tasks when you're in a time and place to do them.
Is it a bigger, more complex project? Is it something you want to be working on now? What's the next action? Is it connecting with someone? Generating ideas? Only put that action on your "next actions" list. Keep the big idea in a "Projects" folder and revisit it as often as you need to keep generating concrete "next actions."
Is it not something you need/want to work on now, but you want to make sure you don't forget the idea? Put that in your "projects" folder.
Is it reference material (statements, book recommendations, etc.)? File it and label it clearly so that you can have it when you want it. (You'll want a lot of folders and a box/filing cabinet.)
The idea is that you're creating a physical and/or electronic system that consolidates all your mental baggage that you're unconsciously keeping track of all the time so that you can free up your brain a little and relax. And you're separating the abstract projects from the concrete next actions so that when you think, "I need to do something - but what?" you know you will find explicit instructions for a simple, achievable task. Even better: make a more granular "next actions" list that puts together actions that can be done in the same place with the same resources (i.e., "errands," "At computer," etc.)
If you like physical reminders, make what he calls a "tickler" file. You have 12 "month" folders and 31 "day" folders. If something is a month ahead, put it in next month's folder. When you get to that month, all the month folder contents get distributed to the appropriate "day" folders. Every day, get the day's folder out and see what's been assigned to the day. So, for example, I've been putting my bills in the folder of the day I need to make sure to pay them, and I've also got chores that I tend to neglect (mopping...ugh) on cards so that, when I do them, I can put them in a folder of the day I think I should do that thing again.
This sounds neurotic. Once you've sorted through everything and got it set up, it really takes very little energy to keep going. Whenever something new comes up that you don't really have time to deal with, throw it into your inbox. Take 10 minutes every day, or an hour once a week, to sift through and figure out what concrete action needs to be done and when. After that, you have a better sense that you're not letting things slip through the cracks, which really takes a weight off your mind. And when you're not functioning on a very high level, your smarter (and/or procrastinating-by-planning) self has already done the higher-order planning and your dumb tired self can follow instructions.
Reading Getting Things Done and far more importantly Meditating has really worked wonders for me this year.
Depends on how old you are.
Getting Things Done by David Allen is a good guy, I am really fucking loving Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker.
If you want to get things done, buy this book right now. Not tomorrow, not later today, buy it now.
Once you get it, read it each day and follow the practices it puts forth. It will change your life if you do this and do not put it off!