Two Months ZTD: A Year's End Review

On time for the year’s end, I also finish my second month of [Zen To Done][0] as my productivity system. After the [start in November][1] and a first month of [collecting and processing][2], the last month was dedicated to planning and doing – just as Leo recommends. There is some progress in planning and doing that I feel. More often than not, I try to figure out my “@mit” and “@rock” tasks at the beginning of a new day or week, respectively. More often than not, I stick more or less to them and finish at least 2 or 3 the day I planned to.

Troubles#

The most troubles I seem to have with the “planning” of my tasks: The ones that have a certain “due date” in the future tend to show up late on my list and even though they might require more than a day to complete, I would probably tag them only a short time before their due date as a Rock or MIT. But I guess with practice and maybe some tweaking of my environment, I might tackle that problem anytime soon. If not, I will simply ask Leo. :) Another troublesome thing is the grouping of tasks into “projects” or “meta-tasks”: Things that somehow relate together but need to be done individually in order to complete the overarching goal of, say, building a house.1 Some standalone tools like [Things][6] or [Todoist][5] solve this problem with some kind of nested tasks – but either it’s a Mac-only software (Things) or it has not offline mode (Todoist) – something I love about RememberTheMilk.2

Overall success#

Now, how to measure success? The easiest way is to see how many tasks I actually (really) completed each month. This is (fairly) easy as I started using [RememberTheMilk][3] again to manage my tasks. As you can see from the following chart, there was a surge in July, after which the number of tasks done dropped nearly to zero. The reason here was that I actually stopped tracking my tasks vigorously. That was actually one of the reasons why I started with ZTD in November: I had the feeling that too many tasks slipped through my fingers and were left undone. Given that with a certain variation, I should be able to tackle a certain amount of tasks per month, the two ZTD-months are promising: There was a growth of roughly 8% from November to December – which hopefully are a direct result of my newly-discovered task management. :) Anyway, we will see. Stay tuned for another month of ZTD here at mycvs.org and the results of using a “simple, trusted system” and “organizing” my tasks.


For the records: The exact numbers for each month are the following ones:

  • June: 64* July: 125* August: 7* September: 21* October: 21* November: 76* December: 82 BTW: The graph above was made with [Google Chart API][4]. Very simple, very nice.

  1. Not so say that I’m building one, yet. ;) ↩︎

  2. “Nested Tasks” is a very often requested feature for RTM and I must agree that it would make the application more suitable for me. The workarounds proposed in the Forums don’t really fit the problems that nested tasks would solve. But then I’m used to the RTM interface very much. I’m torn apart. [0]: http://www.zenhabits.net/2007/11/zen-to-done-the-simple-productivity-e-book/ [1]: /2007/11/06/zen-to-done-leo-babautas-ultimate-simple-productivity-system/ [2]: /2007/12/01/one-month-ztd-a-first-review/ [3]: http://rememberthemilk.com [4]: http://code.google.com/apis/chart/ [5]: http://todoist.com/ [6]: http://culturedcode.com/things/ ↩︎

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