Normally each of us use OF3 to write down daily objectives / goals and when each task is completed then we cross it out.
I don’t get along with this. Although Omnifocus 3 helps a lot, I have the need to write down the tasks that I am doing so that I can later get a view about all the tasks that I did. With this I know if the week was productive, in what tasks I spent my time and many other things.
The problem? It is very cumbersome. Not only do I have to use OF3 to create, process and finish my task, but I also optionally have to write down that task in a notepad and time is wasted daily …
Do you write down your daily goals to see them? Isn’t it annoying and a waste of time?
Honestly no I don’t. My aim is to complete the tasks I have set and these range from reaction based tasks such as client support tasks to things that move longer term things forward like completing a module in my learn Greek project.
If in my weekly review my projects have progressed and I have no major fires raging I consider my week productive. For me any additional layers of introspection or naval gazing would likely be wasted time but that’s just me.
Personally, I don’t need a retrospective analysis of the completed tasks. When planning my tasks (also in terms of time), I make sure in advance that criteria such as productivity, efficiency and others are used. The weekly number of tasks I have to do is around 80 on average. I do a preview every morning and a very comprehensive one on Friday evenings. This enables me to identify potential problems with efficiency and productivity in advance. At the end of the day I can see with a single glance in my “Today” perspective where my planning failed and I also know why.
Certainly not everyone has the same approach when planning and completing tasks, but I personally consider it too time-consuming to reflect on tasks that have been completed afterwards from the point of view of productivity with notes.
It is better to simply invest a little more time in planning your tasks and possibly use a different, individual omnifocus setup.
At the end of the week, I would look at the completed perspective to look for any tasks that might require a follow-up task. Sometimes it’s not obvious when I ticked it off as complete. I might be in a hurry and will just check off it without thinking that there is a follow-up task needed.
I also look at last week’s schedule to look at appointments/meetings that might need a follow-up task as well.
But yeah, I don’t really look at what I’ve accomplished and award myself a gold pin. I’m more concerned about following up on any completed tasks and then worrying on the wave of incoming tasks for the next week. Scoring myself on a weekly basis doesn’t do it for me. That’s why I don’t pay attention to Todoist’s karma score to see how much “progress” I’ve made or how many karma points I gained.
Completed perspective along with Review perspective would sort it out for you. It’s nearly all what you need for a picture of where you stand with your personal productivity. You can do that daily or weekly or at a frequency of your choosing.
Me personally, I’m using OmniFocus to keep track of all the million things I have still yet to be completed and prioritize them, I don’t use it to plan out the day too much, although I do have a perspective for the stuff I’ve chosen to do that day.
Have you considered timeboxing? At the beginning of the day, I plan out the day on my calendar and then adjust it as the day goes along. That way I can look back on the entire week and see how much time I spent doing different tasks or types of tasks (i.e. work vs house chores)
That is an interesting thread to me. Reading your post brings me to two different places.
I do write down every morning a short list of 5 to 10 tasks to do today, pulled from Omnifocus. I do it because
1.a To me writing down in paper activates some different ‘neurons’ in my brain than reading them on a screen. I mean they get more imprinted in my memory. I guess it could be because I did all my school and university studies on papers and with markers to jog my memory. Maybe native digitals do not have this difference, though I’m seeing some schools telling children to go back from tablets to paper because they don’t learn the same.
1 b. I can keep the paper to do list in my desk and close omnifocus, so I don’t get distracted (procrastinate) by its many perks while I am executing .
2.- I would like to have some analytics in Omnifocus, to be able to look back at trends in tasks and projects done. Not so much to measure my productivity but to learn from experience and see if my actions match my thoughts. The completed perspective is a start but not enough since I would like to see % of dedication to different kinds of projects, for instance BAU vs change projects. I find that ‘running my life (BAU)’ takes almost all my time and there’s too little left for ‘change my life’ type of things. Or big rock projects vs the rest etc. If we could run some analytics in a similar way we run perspectives, that would be useful to me.