I recently read the book Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. While I’d highly recommend that you read it, I know that you probably don’t have time. If this is so, then this is the perfect book for you!
The main area this book helped me was in my note-taking habits. During meetings, everything I deemed important would be scribbled down in my notebook for later review. It became difficult to pull the tasks that actually needed to be done from the pages.
The book recommended a new method. The Action Method. Here’s how I use it.
- First, one page is dedicated to each project, no matter how small. Trying to organize five different projects on one page was not ideal and unnecessary.
- Most of each page, save the top and bottom right corners, are open for notes.
- Anytime a task that can be completed is mentioned, it gets placed in a list at the top right corner. Each task should begin with a verb, as I am going to be taking action and completing them after the meeting is over. I make sure they are fairly simple. “Build an entire website.” does not work, while “Pick out colors for website.” does. I break every project down to steps like this.
- Finally, the bottom right of the page is dedicated to backburner items. These are projects or tasks that I or somebody else thought up, but can’t or shouldn’t take action on right now. These get compiled later and are reviewed monthly.
This was not mentioned in Making Ideas Happen, but I believe this is important, nonetheless. Make sure you purchase a nice notebook, because you won’t value it as highly if you don’t. I used to take notes on everything, but having a nice new notebook has motivated me to have it with me at all times.
How do you get things done?