Here I share my self-management know-how and tips in a nutshell as quick and free coaching. It is based on decades of experience and experimenting with dozens of different approaches and techniques. The best book on self-management, if you want to read more about the psychology and really get your life in order very quickly, is "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, by the way. My method is based on his, with significant modifications though.
I give below as a recipe, but you are of course free to modifiy it in any way that suits you better.
- always have paper and a pen at or near you to make short notes whenever you have an idea or see a task that needs doing
- always, without exceptions, write down ideas and tasks as they come to your mind
- alternatively, or in addition, you can also use a (e.g. digital) memo recorder
- create a new directory on your computer, e.g. "Self-Management"
- in it, create/save a plain-text file, e.g. "todo.txt"
- make sure you have instant access to this file on a daily basis
- ideally your computer should start with the file opened in a text editor
- your todo.txt should have seven main sections
- the first one does not need a headline, it's your tasks for today (or these days)
- then come the six fields (in your desired order)
- -HH- (household)
- -CR- (creative work)
- -FP- (family and other people)
- -PD- (personal development)
- -BH- (body/health)
- -ET- (edutainment)
- with Ctrl+Home, you can always jump to your current tasks
- find a truly reliable mode to transfer your notes regularly to your todo.txt, for instance every day after breakfast or before bedtime, or at least once a week, guaranteed with not exceptions
- when transferring your paper notes (and/or memo recordings), you decide whether an idea or task is actually worth keeping, and if it is (which is almost always the case), assign it to either of the six categories in your todo.txt
- in your todo.txt, mostly just use short notes, one task or idea per line
- put them under their category, with the most urgent tasks or most important ideas further up in the list
- you can split each category into a few sub-sections with sub-headlines, for instance:
- ASAP: (as soon as possible)
- WIGT: (when I got time)
- SDMB: (someday/maybe)
- each day, either as you start it or plan the next day before bedtime, quickly go through your categories and pick (not too many!) tasks for today
- move them up to your current-tasks list, and start each with a plus sign (e.g. "+ buy new clock")
- when you've done a task, change the + into a "v" (e.g. "v buy new clock") to check it off
- if you have tasks that take longer than a day, you could mark them with a progress notation (I mark that with an "@"); I use todo/total\done,
e.g. "+ @ 5/12\7 reorder bookshelves"
- where you don't know the amount, just use an @ without numbers after it
- in either case, the task gets checked each day you've worked on it, but remains on your current-tasks list, changing the "v" back to a "+" before you start the next day, until it has been fully completed
- when creating the tasks list for the day, delete all completed tasks from yesterday; if you want to keep record of your progresses, you could copy these to a log.txt in your Self-Management directory, with date tags before each day's group of achieved tasks; you can read this log occasionally for motivation
- for bigger projects and ideas (e.g. writing a book or software, organizing a big event, contacting several people etc.), create other files in your Self-Management directory
- for example you could have a file "MyBook1.txt" and in your todo.txt refer to it by ">MyBook1.txt" (read as "for detailed notes see the file MyBook1.txt")
This will quickly and greatly improve your productivity, wellbeing, health, and success in life in all areas.