Simply Put, Just Simplify

I would like to believe that 99% blog is written just for me. Every morning I wake up to my BlackBerry twitter feed of a mash up of the99percent and AIGAdesign. Sprinkle in a little VeerUpdate and I’m a happy girl getting ready to conquer my list of to dos set before me for the day. My morning routine consists of the following: BlackBerry calendar, check; planner [MyAgenda ROCKS], check; Outlook work calendar, check; Paper Source desktop calendar, check; and of course my favorite task list(s), AIGA gmail account and personal gmail account, check and check. Then I realize that I have now just spent 30 minutes of productivity checking all my calendars! I refuse to condense all of them into one calendar for the simple fact that what will be staring me in the face is a list to overwhelm even an overachiever! From the time I wake up until the time I hit the bed, I am constantly checking off completed items and making room for new ones.

So, back to my original statement, I feel as if the writers of 99% are in fact writing for me! Here are my top 5 entries on how to achieve freedom of the to do list. For if I am to accomplish my set agenda as president, be a great employee, and have a personal life; organizing my long to do list is #1 on my to do list!

1. Planning and executing a productive work schedule
– What has to get done by the end of the day?
– What would I like to get done by the end of the day, but won’t lose my job if I don’t?

2. If It Won’t Fit On A Post-It, It Won’t Fit In Your Day
Have you ever had a to-do list that was so long it felt like you’d never get to the end of it? Or have you ever started the day with a manageable list, but by the end of the afternoon it was longer than when you began – because of all the things that got added during the day? Too many days like this, and your to-do list starts to look like a wish list.

3. How Analog Rituals Can Amp Your Productivity
The manual labor involved with productivity is valuable. Repetitive rituals will make you pause.
You will feel burdened, but you will also catch a glimpse of just how busy you are
and what you should prioritize.

4. Reclaim Focus, One Day at a Time
A lack of focus is at the root of this problem. Constant shifts mean that no task receives the proper attention. Instead, each is carried out in the most automatic (and quick!) way possible.

5. Working Better: How to Take On a Passion Project When You Have a Job
The key to finally doing the thing you always said you wanted to do is committing to it (and committing to yourself) in very practical ways.

Are you an AIGA Member? Be sure to post your portfolio to the AIGA Member Gallery,
hosted by the Behance Network.

About 99%
The 99% is Behance’s research arm and think tank. Taking its name from Thomas Edison’s famous quote that “genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration,” the 99% includes a daily web magazine, an annual conference, and the best-selling book “Making Ideas Happen.” Through articles, tips, videos, and events, we share best practices that help creative professionals move beyond idea generation into idea execution.

By April Guzik
Published October 26, 2010
AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.