Do you feel like you are constantly stretching your mind to remember everything you need to complete in the day? If so, you may have heard of the getting things done (GTD) method of productivity. It helps some people unlock their full productive potential by making it possible for them to keep lists of everything they need to get done. However, plenty of people are looking for some get things alternatives. Read on to learn more about some of these alternatives.
What is the GTD Method?
The GTD method was developed by a man named David Allen, who wanted to try to store all the various tasks he needed to complete for the day in one place. He decided that it was best to keep a running list of the various tasks that he had assigned to himself to keep it all available at any time. He felt that the only way to cross things off his list and make progress was to keep that list going and make it as easy as possible to access when he needed it.
Many people have subscribed to this production method, and there are even a collection of apps you can use on your phone if you are so inclined. However, some people have found the get-things-done method too challenging and are interested in GTD alternatives.
Is GTD Too Complicated?
Some say that the GTD method is too complicated for their liking. They aren’t pleased with it because they feel that the GTD method does not address their product’s issues.
The GTD method forces them to write down everything they need to complete. This can promote the feeling of always being behind, which does not necessarily spur the kind of actions that people need to take if they are to progress on their goals. Some say the GTD method is too complicated for them, and they prefer an alternative.
7 GTD Method Alternatives
1. Time Mapping
Are you tired of figuring out how to structure your day so that you get the most important things out of the way first? Always ending your days feeling like you are behind the 8-ball because there are tasks left undone? If that sounds like you, you need to consider the time-mapping method.
The time mapping method calls upon its users to draw up all of their activities (similar to GTD) and then separate them into various blocks of time when they get them done. Adhering to this method will allow you to accomplish what you set out to accomplish and help you avoid time-wasters that could cause you to fall further behind on your goals. If you want to avoid that outcome, consider the time mapping method to assign certain types of work for certain times of the day.
2. Eat The Frog
Getting the most burdensome tasks out of the way is how some people prefer to go about their day. They realize that if they can take care of those tasks that bother them most, they will make a lot more progress toward their eventual goal of getting everything done.
Eat the frog is a method based on the concept of taking on the most unpleasant task (such as eating a frog) off of your to-do list first. If you focus on tasks you don’t want to handle; you can spend more time doing what you truly want to do later. Reward yourself with some well-earned free time by using eat the frog to knock out the most troublesome tasks first.
3. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique has picked up in popularity with many people who see how it can lead to incredible results for themselves. They see with the Pomodoro technique that they can work in concentrated spurs to focus as much energy as possible on the things that matter.
This technique is particularly useful for people who work from home as they may find it very easy to get distracted by all their possessions at home and not be able to do all that they need to do. One can use various Pomodoro timers online or opt for one of these cute vegetable-shaped ones (Pomodoros are a type of tomato).
4. The Seinfeld Technique
One Pomodoro alternative you might want to try comes from Jerry Seinfeld, the incredibly famous comedian known for his jokes and observations about the world. He has built an incredible career for himself and amassed plenty of money due to his hard work and ability to make an audience laugh. What may seem effortless for Seinfeld is the product of hard work and diligence.
The method that the comedian uses to help keep himself on task and constantly improving is something that has come to be known as the Seinfeld technique. He prints off a large calendar with 365 squares, one for each day of the year. He then hangs that calendar up on a wall and puts a red X on each square when he sits down and writes some comedy that day. His goal is to create a chain of X’s that stretch for as long as he can make them stretch. He hopes that by doing so, he can push himself to write as much as he needs to create the kind of comedy that people will want to see and hear. It is a continuous improvement process, and it has worked out quite well for Mr. Seinfeld.
This technique can be applied to anything that you want to work on. The biggest challenge is getting started and keeping that streak going for as long as possible.
5. ABCDE Method
Not every task you do will have equal weight with every other task. In your heart of hearts, you know this to be true. However, it would be best to look at how you can use the productivity tools at your disposal to create a list that makes the most sense for what you are attempting to accomplish as you knock items off the list.
The ABCDE method can help you get there. Items that are most important and urgent go into the A category. A little less important, go into the B category, and then you just keep moving down the list like this until you get to the D and E categories. They stand for tasks you can Delegate and tasks you can Eliminate. Thus, when used properly, the ABCDE method can reduce the total number of tasks you have to take on throughout your day. If you work as a freelancer or someone else who has to manage their own money and day-to-day activities, this method might be right for you.
6. Biological Prime Time
Did you know that your body is set to be most productive at certain times of the day? The specific times that work best for you will vary from person to person, but prime biological time is a real thing. Some people love to get up early in the morning and knock out all of their tasks, but others can’t imagine wanting to do that. Wherever you stand on that debate, you should consider using your specific biological prime time to accomplish as much as possible.
It is an alternative to GTD that could help you maximize the amount you accomplish in your day by utilizing the optimal periods of the day when your brain and body are most ready to handle what is thrown at them. You can throw the hardest tasks on your list at yourself during this time to try to accomplish the things you know need to get done right away. Many have found this to be one of the best ways to get things done without adding extra stress to their life.
7. SMART Goals
An old saying claims that you should work smarter, not harder. The point made by saying this is that it is best to put your efforts into getting a job done right the first time and not into working as many hours as possible. If you get things done right on the first attempt, you won’t have to worry about working as hard because you already have accomplished what you set out to do.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-Related. They are goals you can have for yourself that you can measure against to see if you are truly meeting your objectives. In other words, are you accomplishing everything you set out to do? If you are reaching those goals and are a planner, that makes everything worthwhile. This is what SMART goals are all about. Watch yourself progress rapidly as you knock off goal after goal.
There is a whole universe of GTD alternatives available to you if you are willing to check them out. Try to see what GTD alternatives can do for you and why you might want to give them a shot if you haven’t already. There is nothing wrong with checking out everything available to help you have as productive a day as possible.