My Inbox Is NOT My To Do List

With a house, wife, kids, and a job that's getting increasingly more complex, I have to be productive. I have to know what I need to get done and then get it done.

There are so many inputs. I have email. I have a text messages. I have instant messages. I have social media. I have work group messaging. Everyone is vying for my attention. Everyone is asking me to do something.

For work, we especially love email and group chat. It's far too easy for it all to fly back 'n forth. You lift your head and find that you haven't actually gotten anything done for multiple hours.

I work very hard to not use email as my to do list. I use Apple Reminders as my to do list. I work off of what's in Reminders. I'll regularly check what's in my email, evaluate it, decide how it compares to what else is on my list, and add accordingly. If needed, I'll re-prioritize.

I'll do something similar with a number of different inputs.  I go through my meeting notes, look for action items, and put them in Apple Reminders. I go through my project planning in Trello and put my to do's in Apple Reminders.

My goal is that I have ONE LIST that I use to manage what I want to get accomplished during the work day.

Apple Reminders has been really great for my family too. You can share your lists with others. That way my wife and I have common lists for joint projects, things I need to do, shopping lists, etc.

Net net -- It's important to find and be disciplined about a system that works for you, where you can prioritize what you need to do and be in control.

Important Things Are Hard

Sometimes some of the biggest and deepest truths are the simplest. I've had one on my mind lately... important things are hard.

We all have those things that we want to do. We want to be successful entrepreneurs, we want to be thinner, or we want to be richer... you get the idea.

I was on Facebook and friend posted something to the extent of "Do you want to be thinner without putting in all the work?" And instantly everyone said YES, YES, YES.  Well it's all a lie. Losing weight and being thinner isn't something that you can do without making sacrifices. It may mean not eating that ice cream that everyone else is.

I want to have more time to read by myself in the quiet. That meant I had to get up earlier and forgo sleep. There are days that it's REALLY hard. I have force myself out of bed but I'm always glad that I do.

I want to get back into writing more often. That means I'm going to have to set aside time to write more often. That means I'm going to have to not do something else.

It's almost like we're trained to try and look for shortcuts. We want to be lazy. By cheating the process, you're gonna not get where you want.