For me, Twitter’s utility has changed a bit over the last few years. What once was used as a way for my friends and I to share what we were up to, where we were, and so on has more or less morphed into a way for me to chat with other people who share similar interests regardless of where we are.
In fact, I’ve seen that each of my friends use Twitter in their own respective ways.
For people that I know personally, Path – yep, I actually use it – has worked out pretty well. But I’ve met a lot of really cool, interesting, and smart people on Twitter that I interact with on a daily basis many of which I would’ve never met otherwise.
Case in point: Jason Resnick is a fellow developer and tweep that I’ve known for a little over a year via Twitter. Yesterday, he asked me this question:
@tommcfarlin how do you manage to write a blog post just about every day, but also get all your dev work and such done too?
— Jason Resnick (@rezzz) February 26, 2013
This isn’t the first time that I’ve been asked this question, and although this isn’t strictly related to development, I figure that it’s close enough to how I actually get development done that I’d share my response here.
Getting Things Done
My preferred method of organizing and managing tasks is using GTD. I’ve tried a number of different ways or organizing tasks, but this particular is what works best for my how I naturally work.
The thing about using GTD is that I also organize all of my personal tasks using this method, as well. This means that if I have a bill to pay, a phone call to make, or a reminder email to send, then it goes into my task list with the appropriate label.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Things. I’ve tried nearly every TODO list app that’s available – I’ve always come back to it. In fact, I’m so sold out on GTD and Things that I’ve got it on both my desktop and mobile devices.
There’s one caveat about GTD: I don’t use that many labels.
I tend to use Personal, 8BIT, LLC, and the occasional miscellaneous label for certain things such as Envato or WP Gwinnett for groups or organizations with which I’m involved, but overall I try to keep the labels small.
The reason is this: Creating labels is an exercise in not micromanaging your tasks. I’ve found that the majority of stuff that I’m responsible for falls under a very small set of groups (or labels in the case of Things).
If I find myself having a hard time determine what something should be labeled, odds are it’s not a task – perhaps it belongs on my calendar, perhaps it’s something that I can manage via email (more on how I manage my inbox, later). Regardless, not everything belongs in the task list.
This Won’t Work For You
Or maybe it will. I’ve no idea.
One of the things that I dislike the most about a lot of the advice that I read online, hear in podcasts, and so on is how people recommend their process to others for getting things done.
Although I’ve shared mine here, I can’t recommend this to you. We’re all different and what works for me may or may not work for you.
Case in point: My wife does not follow the GTD methodology, so she naturally has no need for GTD apps. She has her own may of managing her day-to-day responsibilities.
Sure, we’ve talked about it, but asking her to try my method is as fair as she asking me to try her method. I know her method won’t work because it doesn’t jive with my personality.
So, with all of that said, that’s how I generally manage my time during the day-to-day. Of course, I’m interested in hearing how you guys manage your time so, if you feel inclined, then share it in the comments.
Jason and I went on to chat a little longer, so if you’re interested, you can also read the entire conversation.