My quest for productivity

My struggle to implement a working productivity system is summarized by the following image.


It shows my progress in David Allen's "Getting things done" after several months. No matter how hard I try I have been unable to bring myself to any of the necessary habits. I believe that the system works. I have just been unable to motivate myself enough for the changes required.

I believe that my failure to adhere to the "gospel" is caused by a lack of need. Through all my life I have tried to improve my own productivity always with little or no results.

This have never caused any issues since I have been lucky enough to have worked with small and well-defined projects. Even though I was involved in some extracurricular activities during my school years. None of them have been taxing enough to force me to improve my productivity. And the story continues in my post university years.

  • I work with little or no pressing need for long term plans.
  • I live close enough to both the store and work to not have to manage my commute.
  • My side projects have been small enough in scope to not disturb my work.
  • I seldom plan my leisure activities ahead of time.

All this have held me back in my quest to improve my own productivity. But recent developments in my life (I've become a father) have forced me to rethink my efforts.

Now I will have to manage my time to be able to both be a dad and continue to learn new things. To get myself on the right track I have decided to start with one system and a tool.

Zen To Done which is a twist of the GTD system focusing on a limited set of habit changes. Hopefully it will be easier to get started with this system. It focuses on making small  changes instead of the massive overhaul that GTD preaches. The system also seems to shift focus from capturing to doing. The adaptations seems to have made GTD accessible and useful for "normal" people.

Bullet journal which is a structured way of keeping tabs on daily activities and events.
Previously I have been able to implement and maintain a bullet journal for short hectic periods but I have never been able to stick with it when things cool down.
One of the major issues for me have been a desire to separate work events from daily life events.
This constant shifting makes it hard to trust the capture tool which in turn leads to a loss of focus.

One of the major issues I have faced in trying to implement these systems is the "capture" step.
I am having trouble finding a stylish and convenient way of making sure that I always carry my capture tool.
My dress-code at work is probably considered formal for Norway but it is business-casual in the rest of the world.
This together with the fact that I have no need to carry anything to work creates an issue when I want to carry a notebook around.

I am stuck in the grey-zone between being formal enough to wear a suit (which would facilitate a notebook) and being casual enough to have pants equipped with large pockets. To get around this issue I have decided to take the advice
of The Goldman Sachs Unofficial guide to being a man, especially advise number 3.

Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.

The simple act of wearing a jacket to work every day should improve my chances of success.
Apart from giving me the space to carry my capture system it will has the added benefit of moving my daily wardrobe up a notch.
My goal is fairly simple, I want to be able to continue to develop my skills while still being able to spend a lot of time with my family.
As a part of the process I will write down my experiences in implementing these systems as well as how I work around any issues that might rise.