No way, Jose. Finish one task before starting another


Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started - David Allen

Undertaking new projects comes to me with ease. The dark side of “let’s start” attitude is that it shifts the focus from ongoing initiatives to new and engaging ideas. David Allen, the creator of the “Getting Things Done” method, accurately describes the source of my stress. It’s time to declutter my mind.

Step one: No new actions

A while ago I wrote an article about saying NO. It’s time to refresh my principles.

Step two: List discontinued tasks

  • My blog - almost 3 months of inactivity
  • Mastering Deep learning
  • Preparing for TOGAF certification
  • Swimming / running / cycling
  • - portal about cloud services
  • Solving posture problems
  • Podcast

The list goes on and on, but I already feel terrible about all those death sentenced plans.

Stage three: Assign priorities, next immediate steps and turn on Pomodoro technique

Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes. Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day. - Tim Urban, Wait But Why

We underestimate 10-30 minute windows. At work, the majority of meetings are 60 minutes long. Once asked for task estimates, we think in hours, or even in days. As a result, we don’t treat 10 minutes as something truly productive. While in reality, it’s enough to get immersed in a problem.

Stage four: Install blocking apps

A list of priorities is useless if I still keep scrolling Facebook, LinkedIn or watching YouTube. To limit my mindless browsing I need some help, and BlockSite seems to be a good solution.


The last thing we want is to be this person

Commitstrip - Side Project CommitStrip - Side Project

I'm Valdas Maksimavicius. I write about data, cloud technologies and personal development. You can find more about me here.