Shravan appeared much relieved when I said, “No. Don’t worry. It happened with me too.”

Whenever I talk to Shravan, my pal, we always end up talking about memories from our childhood. His pain came from the fact that however vividly he remembered inconsequential and mostly useless details of incidents from the past, he had a hard time remembering, say what all he had been planning to work on, that week.

We forget. We forget a lot. Something that did not get a chance to get into our long-term memory through rehearsals, will just evaporate.

And it is a boon! When I had read about it for the first time in my school textbook, I was shocked, but soon realized its importance. For a case in point, imagine if you had remembered all OTPs, that you received till today – 875, 5642, 8976, 567543,…

Forgetting is all great, only if it is not about the work you had planned to do. Several things happen on a day for us being busy people. We promise people around us, something that we would do for them, all the time. And we miss doing them. Largely we miss doing them not because we were too busy to have enough time but too busy to retain all the work in the memory!

We try to make notes when we are in a meeting or planning for a big job, but the same meticulousness is missed when it comes to those odd actions which keep springing continuously throughout the day. You could always make up for missing some of these actions, but not for many others, especially when people are held up because we missed doing our part.

The GTD time management methodology could see the whole iceberg below this seemingly small tip. GTD would mean many things to many people, but in essence, it is aimed at supporting us on just this one limitation! The benefits of overcoming this limitation of forgetting work are often unbelievably great and life-changing.

Arguably, GTD is the nirvana of time management. You should do GTD if you think that you have been on the receiving end because of forgetting your work! If you want to start small, here is a simple plan:

  1. Install a SIMPLE list-making app (My favorite is Out of milk) on your smartphone and inculcate the habit of COLLECTING work all the time that comes your way through multiple sources. You may make multiple lists, one for meetings and other for random thoughts, and so on. But the condition is that you should know how many lists you hold/manage.
  2. Maintain a single master to-do list in a spreadsheet on your computer where you keep all your tasks. Let it have not just professional tasks, but also personal tasks, if possible.
  3. Transfer the tasks collected in your list-making App into your master to-do list, as often as possible, but always do one mandatory check every morning, as a ritual.
  4. Plan your day based on what you have in your master to-do list, not just based on the priorities, but also with the mindset of utilizing all kinds of time slots that you get throughout your day!

Once you master this small discipline, you will start keeping up all the promises made and you will find yourself on the path to the coveted stress-free productivity!

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