A lot of GTD-ers are outsourcing their brains into their lists and task managers. Those are robust systems that require time and effort to run. That is the reason why we have so many failed attempts in implementing those systems. One of not so great list of things that GTD practioners do, is writing down the tasks that don’t take a lot of effort to complete.
Beside papers I have found that my mind naturally functions as a to do lists in many occasions, but based on mental triggers. Once you see an item, that is reminding you of tasks, you simply complete them. We pretty much won’t have to write things down, such as lock the house, once we leave it. Same as we have habitual behavior patterns when it comes down to locking the house once we leave, we can induce the same effect whit other repeating activities.
Through use of associations we can actually configure our minds to remind us of certain things once we are within the context or in the near vicinity of the item that can help us achieve that task. Having a part of your “to do” list within your contextual mind is pretty powerful thing.
If you have a task that takes less than two minutes to complete, maybe you should consider “mind anchoring” that action, into the thought process. I find that are minds are working way better than we give them credit to. We are just not used to relying on our brain power.
The more I organize my to do lists, I feel certain mental hygiene occurring. My thoughts start getting organized as well in the part of the process. Leaving a lot of free and liberated mind, for organizing your mind even more. From where I am standing right now, I can see that having a system without writing things down can be possible.
I don’t want you to just embrace this activity, but I want you to give it a text experiment. Next time when you have item of low importance, that might end up on your to do list, consider anchoring it to the context or location where it needs to be completed.
Also a lot of tasks, after a lot of repetition, start becoming a habit, once you establish a habit, there is no point in writing it down. Increase in efficiency is eminent for everyone that is taking lists. You also don’t want your to do lists to cloggy. Because when we go through our lists, we process all the thought again, each and every time.
Do you use some sort of mental contexts? How do they improve your productivity?