Tackle Your To-Do List With The Arena App and David Allen’s Best Practices
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, offers a method of personal organization that can be implemented in any workplace setting. His approach includes a series of “best practices” designed to help you take control of your system in a way that will work best for you. This blog will take a look at each of the five practices, and how The Arena App helps you achieve all of them. Keep reading to find out how Arena allows you to Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do.
Collecting focuses on finding a system to get everything out of your head, using as few tools as possible. A master project list is a good option for keeping all of your tasks in one place, but you will still need a day-to-day task manager. The Arena App is designed to work with your master list, and lets you choose how important each project is. Build out your day with Arena using your list, and you will find that you can accomplish more with the time you have.
The practice of collecting also focuses on defining and organizing your tasks, which can be done in Arena. You can organize your day by overlaying your projects – along with their projected importance – on your master calendar. This allows you to have a better sense of how much time you have to complete a task within the confines of your scheduled meetings, appointments, and other time constraints.
Processing focuses on your ability to decide how a task should be completed, rather than actually completing it. The Arena App does this through the point totals you assign to your projects, tasks, meetings, etc. These can be based on how large a project is or how important it is. Arena also includes checklists that you can assign to your tasks, or you can create your own if a project has multiple steps.
The Arena App helps you organize your tasks in the way that suits you. One option is to begin by basing your decisions on the tasks that have the most points, and structure your day that way. Arena also allows you to place your tasks in Today, Tomorrow, or Unscheduled. Unscheduled can be a useful spot for those projects you know you need to work on this week, but not necessarily today. They will remain in Unscheduled until you move them, choosing either Today or Tomorrow for your projected completion date. Once you have finished your task, it will go into your Accomplishments bar, and you will have made progress toward completing your day!
Arena’s best feature for reviewing practice is the Unscheduled section of your tasks. When placing your projects into Unscheduled (instead of Today or Tomorrow), you should note the next action required for the task. As you review, you will have a chance to see if anything can be delegated, deferred, deleted, or better-defined. If you come across a task that will take five minutes or less, just do it. This will clear it from your list, and you won’t keep putting it off as the days go on.
The way to succeeding through the practice of reviewing is to make your system a habit. Set aside time each week – aim for the same time – to go through your Unscheduled tasks, and perform the required actions. You can even make it a task for Today (“Clear Unscheduled”). The important thing is to focus on the system that works best for you. Arena can help you find what works best to review your tasks in the most efficient way.
Once you’ve implemented the previous practices into Arena – and your day – it is time to just go with it. Trust your choices on how important a task is, or how long a project should take. That’s what the Arena App is best for: letting you decide how your day goes.
The decisions are entirely up to you. Collect your tasks, then decide what your next action is. Organize all your tasks (Today, Tomorrow, Unscheduled), review that you’ve given the proper importance to each, and then get started. Arena will help you run your day as smoothly as possible, and free up time for you to do the things you really want. Arena helps you have a better day, everyday!