Nothing helps more to clear your head than an external system for storing all the things you still need to do. This is a great first step. The very next thing is to decide when you’re actually going to do all those tasks you gathered.

One of my most important principles is that I’m using my calendar only for things I absolutely have to do. This allows me to schedule large blocks of time to work on big things where I need a fresh mind and this is the backbone of my system I’m using to make sure I meet the deadlines I’ve communicated.

When you have lots of things going, it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you don’t know what to work on next, you’ll probably pick the easiest thing. By creating a strict order in my systems, I always know I’m working on the right thing.

This is my strategy:

  • On Friday, during my weekly review, I review my projects and schedule blocks of time in the next week. Whenever big things need to be done, I add this as blocks of time to my calendar as well.
  • By adding this stuff to my calendar, I’m also sure I’m not over-promising.
  • As soon as I’m done with my task, I’m looking at my calendar first. If there is nothing planned, I’m moving to OmniFocus to work on the tasks scheduled there. As soon as they are done, I’m shifting to email.

Whatever your strategy for managing your tasks, you should start treating your calendar as holy ground. Anything that is on there should be something you’re absolutely going to do. As soon as you have that process in place, you can really trust it. If you have a system you trust, other people are going to trust you with more things as well.