I follow a slight variant of GTD, and use my Todo.txt for Android app for task list management. Here are two tweaks I use in the app for parts of the GTD process—quick capture, and easy identification of next actions.
1: Use a special project for quick ‘capture‘
Set up +quicktask as default project for new tasks
New task input opens with +quicktask already selected
I use ‘+quicktask‘ as default project for all new tasks to quickly capture them. This allows me to just note the task in plain English and continue with the task at hand. I don’t need to think about their priority, due date and all other things at the time of capture.
Writing the task down closes the loop and frees the mind. Applying the +quicktask project allows me to easily find the task later during the clarification stage.
When I’m in the clarify or organise stage, I filter the task list for +quicktask and process them.
2: Use a special tag to mark the ‘next action‘
I use ‘#next‘ tag to indicate the next task to focus on in a project. During the organise stage, I mark one task in each active project as #next. This ensures that I don’t have to look through the task list for what to focus on next.
My task list widget is now filtered by #next and sorted by due date. What’s on top, is what I need to focus on now.
Removal of the easiest to observe input metric – face time – reduces the availability bias in remote work organisations, and helps them focus on the more productive outcome-based metrics.
This switch to emphasis on outcomes can be helpful for individual productivity, but is truly transformative when the whole organisation goes remote-first.
Behavioural biases confuse performance appraisal in office-based organisation culture
The time spent in office looking productive is a key factor in performance appraisals across teams and organisations. Even when time in office is not a formal factor, it unconsciously creeps in and affects rating scores on other factors.
The outcomes of an individual/team’s work are delayed and often diffused – hard to credit exactly. However, the inputs are visible and trivially measurable. In pursuit of productivity metrics, the manager/organisation substitute the hard to measure outcomes with the easily available input factors (time spent in office, calls made, lines of code) etc. Continue reading Availability bias and the remote work advantage
Values to be averaged are in A1:A99, corresponding dates are in B1:B99.
What the formula does: average the values in the range – Include a value in calculating average for the current date if:
The date for that value is same as or before the date in the current row, and
The date for that value is greator than the date X days before the date in the current row (X is 30 in the formula for a 30-day moving average)
The long one:
I have a spreadsheet with my daily weight log. It has occasional missing days – when I didn’t log my weight.
Yesterday, I wanted to chart this data, and wanted to add a moving average to it. Google sheets’ in-built moving average trend line refused to work – either due to the missing data, or due to the number of entries. So I added a column to the sheet with the calculated (trailing) moving average weight.
I’ve never before had to calculate moving average over a non-consecutive data set. So, in case I forget, I’m noting it down here for later…
The basic idea is that if you are inactive for one hour, the bar turns red and shows an alert asking you to move around for 2-5 mins. The longer you’ve been inactive, the longer you have to walk to dismiss the bar.
On the non-fitness side of things, a.k.a. work, I use a pomodorotimer app to split my work into manageable bits. For the last year and a half that I’ve used it, I’ve stuck with the default 20 mins work, 5 mins break pattern 1. After every 4 sets, is a slightly longer 15 min break to stretch legs, and pamper Chewie.
Today was my first full day with the new watch, and I’ve already settled on a modified pattern – 25 on (working), 5 off (twitter). Every 2 sets, i.e. every one hour, take additional 10 mins off to walk around to clear the bar, chat with family, and then back again.
Worked well for the half day that I’ve worked today. If this works on Monday too, it’ll be a fun combination of work & walk :)
Most of those 5 mins breaks are used for catching up, or posting, on Twitter :) ↩