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One of the key parts in my latest book, Your Digital Life (Amazon / iBookstore), is separating out regular routine work and real projects — things that take your life further forward.

Most people who follow the GTD methodology don’t do this. They group all their actions into individual projects and then find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects they have to complete. This results in losing focus on the things that really matter and the things that move their life forward.

To avoid this, I recommend you put all your routine tasks into one project called “Routines” with recurring dates for when they are due to be completed. Ideally, if your to-do list manager allows you, you should sub-categorise these into “daily”, “weekly” and “monthly” recurring tasks. Your remaining projects will then be the projects that will improve your life and move you further forward.

Screenshot of my organisation in Todoist

Doing this allows you to focus your attention on the real, life changing, life improving projects and you can forget about your routines because they will come up into your daily task list as and when they are due.

To set this up all you need do is make a list of your regular routine tasks such as ‘take dog for walk’ or ‘prepare sales figures for last week’, and then put these tasks into their relevant sub-category (daily, weekly, monthly etc). The idea is that tasks you have to do on a regular basis should be treated as a routine and not as a project. Projects should be exclusively for things that will move your life to a better place.

To help you with this, I have created a downloadable sheet you can use to help guide you through the process. It may take you a few days to get everything down, but the effort will be worth it. Once your routines are separated and dated you are not going to forget to do them and it will free up your mind to focus on the things that really are important. Routines should be the things you don’t need to think about, they should just happen. the things you should be thinking about are the projects that will make you a better person and help you to achieve great things. That is where your mental energy and creativity should be focussed.

You can download the worksheet here

I help people learn to manage their lives and their time so they can experience joy and build a life they are truly proud of.

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