I have found one important discovery recently: the importance of knowing when to stop, and for each say having a clearly defined “good enough” amount of tasks. It’s really best summed up in this post: http://zenhabits.net/simple-work/
The thing is, when you use a system such as GTD it has tremendous power and potential for both productivity and procrastination – the latter caused by the fact that the GTD lists easily grows massive in size. Therefore I have decided that for the next week at least, the scheduling option in Producteev shall be used for my “daily essential / good enough”-task list for the day, where I can genuinely relax and not have to look on my lengthy lists once the daily tasks are done (not until I plan the next day at least). If I have the desire and energy to do more, I’m free to go ahead and nail more tasks. If the high-priority tasks are already out of the way, leaving me with a good conscience, that is more likely to happen.
That’s not to say that I won’t look on my Producteev lists during the day – I will still be doing that in an opportunistic manner – however not as a primary way of planning what to do as the day comes along. I do think I need that kind of “end in sight” motivation.
However I will still be experimenting with the possible interplay between starring and scheduling.
Regarding the no-stars on “inactive” tasks, I have to say, that part works good so far. Maybe this is because I don’t really use it exactly as a “someday/maybe” in the sense that I typically don’t have items with a broader horizon than a few months tops. TBH I don’t really use the “bigger perspectives” part of the GTD with goals etc.. not yet at least.
I am syncing my tasks with Gcal however in my experience it doesn’t sync very well. I wish it would work quickly and consistently though because it’d be nice to have that kind of total overview from Gcal from the beginning of each day.
The first time I read about Pomodoro I wasn’t too keen on the whole idea either. It wasn’t until I read the eBook (using the Pomodoro technique hehe) and gave it a chance that I actually discovered that it’s not as rigid / inflexible system that one think it is on first encounter.
The thing is that in practice you shouldn’t think of it as “25 minute workperiodes” as much as it is “5 minute / 30 minute breaks” – the potential for almost constant work thank to these small breaks. The whole point of PD is the strong awareness about internal/external distractions, queueing up ideas that pops up instead of acting on them impulsively. This encourages single-focus tasking, batch-processing, and as I’ve learning, the potential for extremely high productivity periods. And as much as I’d like to continue sometimes, the 5 minutes always fly by and the break did some good, even though it didn’t feel necessary at first.
I don’t use the PD system for all my tasks, and every once in a while I put away the timer if I’m on an unstoppable roll, but it works for me most of the time. Sadly I have mostly neglected the PD system for the past couple of week, but I’m planning on getting back on track tomorrow.
I wouldn’t mind writing a reader post about it all once I’m adequately done with my experimentation period. I’ll throw you an email when the time comes ;)
Finally… I guess my parents are awesome :)