I have multiple interests, responsibilities and careers. I work from home.
I'm pregnant. I'm super efficient and hyper-productive. I'm an Aquarius.
I'm almost never bored, and pretty motivated about 98% of the time.
Here are Carmen's Standard Operating Procedures and Processes.
1. Yes, I use GTD. I have been on and off the GTD wagon since 2001.
2. I do not allow myself to get obsessed (anymore) with testing/finding the "perfect productivity app." This is a time-suck of colossal proportions in itself. There are more GTD/Task Management apps cropping up every day, each with the promise of ease of integration and maintenance. Bogosity. Don't get caught up. I've burned so much energy trying to implement the latest and greatest app. It's a waste of time to try to migrate your info onto a new system. I've tried legions of them. My rule - if I have a little time to spare to test-drive a new app, I'll do it - WHEN I have time. And if it takes more than 5 minutes to get projects+next actions input cleanly, its just not worth it.
3. I use an Analog reporter-style Moleskine, with tabs I attach myself, to take down projects, next actions and notes.
4. I use Google Calendar for all hard landscape/date-time specific actions. G-cal sends me text reminders to my phone, and I can also send SMS msgs INTO my G-cal to get them onto my calendar.
5. I *was* using Hiveminder for awhile. I didn't really get into it. I also used Omni Outliner Pro with kGTD. I've tried a whole list of others, too.Then I was using Google Notebook, in the same way I use my Moleskine, but it's not portable and I still ended up with a bunch of post-its and index cards for notes on the run, which I then was too bothered to input into Google Notebook.
6. When I have to brainstorm, or organize my thoughts on meta levels of 10,000 ft, 20,000ft . . etc. I use Mindjet's Mindmapping Software. It is the shiz. You can also use Freemind, because it's free.
8. During my "focus sprints" I do NOT check my email, and I put a "do not disturb" message on my IM so people know I am in the Zone.
9. During these "focus sprints" I wear headphones and I listen to any of the following tracks:
Osho Kundalini Meditation, Alice Coltrane's "Journey into Satchidananda," anything from FUX, or music by Matthew Kenefick aka Parataxis.
10. For online collaborative project management, I've implemented the use of Basecamp. This is NOT a replacement hub for my personal next actions tasks. This is ONLY for group project collaboration and is super efficient when working with people who are geographically spread out.
11. I try to touch each email only once, maybe twice if I can't deal with it immediately. Stuff that I've completed either gets deleted - only archived if necessary. Emails from my subscriptions get filtered automatically into their boxes for review later.
12. For work/project related calls or emails, I enforce a 24 hour max response turnaround time. With personal emails, I am a bit more lax, so that I can schedule quality time to write back or call my friends. Typically, I respond to all emails much quicker than I do phone calls.
13. If I blog, I write out my posts in advance, and schedule blog posts to publish throughout the week.
14. If I feel antsy or distracted, I allow myself 10 minute "web surfing sprints." I use Minuteur to time these, too.
15. Because I'm pregnant, I have to walk around and move out of a sitting position pretty often. I stretch, walk around, march in place, whatever. This is good, because circulation is crucial to good focus. I also have to snack all the time. Peanuts, dried pineapple, mangoes, yogurt with granola, Special K bars.
16. When I'm stuck on something, or not into it, I use my hypno/NLP skills to put myself into a "Learning State" of hyper-awareness. Students of Huna will know this as Haka L'au. It's a centering exercise, bringing oneself to full awareness by activating all the senses.
I'm sharing these personal processes in hopes that you will be inspired, too. If you'd like more information or training, contact me about this month's Productivity Workshop!