Second post in the ‘Omnifocus series’:
Things had amazing focus lists. I just wish they did more. So, the first thing I did was after moving to Omnifocus was set tasks in sequential/parallel projects and assign start dates and due dates where necessary. After this, I wanted to recreate the focus lists from Things – Today, Next, Scheduled & Someday as perspectives.
Context filter: Active
Availability filter: Available
Status filter: Due or Flagged
Estimated time filter: Any duration
When I set this up initially, the status filter was set to ‘due’. But, this displayed only those tasks which did not have a start date but had a due date of that particular date. But, I didn’t want to use due dates for every item unless they were really due and would cause significant loss in some aspect if not done that day. So, I let due items pull up in this perspective and used the ‘forecast’ view from the iPhone app (which can be configured to show both due tasks and scheduled tasks) to decide if I wanted to do any of the tasks I scheduled for that day and flag them. Now, I changed the Status filter to show ‘due or flagged’ so that these flagged items would also get pulled into this perspective. I then assigned flags (by default) and start dates to repeating tasks so that they would automatically pull up here.
First post in the planned ‘Omnifocus series’:
Flow. What is Flow? Wikipedia paraphrases Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and defines ‘flow’ as the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. But, how do we find optimal flow? A feeling of ‘being’ in the moment? Isn’t it by doing what we can do at this given moment and not letting your brain drift to things we cannot handle? Complex definitions aside, in practical terms how can we achieve this? How to know what we can do now? Task lists? Yes, if they are tagged with ‘Contexts’. A part of GTD jargon, a ‘context’ is a list of tasks that share some unique prerequisite or constraint. Example: calling someone requires to have a phone, working on that report needs you to be in the office, fixing the window requires you to be at home. These locations/tools limit the tasks we can perform in any moment. What if we had such a list at hand every moment, reminding us what we could do then? What if we had a system which housed all our tasks/unfinished work and let us easily filter them via contexts?
After a day filled with road rage, I came back home fuming at the lack of ‘road sense’ of my fellow commuters. In the heat of the moment, I composed these ‘road rules’ to show what actually happens on the road in contrast to what should’ve happened. A satirical look on how to survive on the roads of Hyderabad
- Honk at red lights, people unnecessarily stop at them, you can get your way..
- You see those two amber lights to the sides of the headlight.. They are for decorative purposes only.. Not something you use..
When you die, people will not remember what you were passionate about. Your favourite pen will go neglected. The book library you built might will gather dust, the playlists you built, the app collection you are gushing about today, the gadget you adore, all will be made obsolete by tomorrows technology. The report you work on today so diligently loses it’s value one year down the lane. Your favourite piece of cloth will be handed over to the maids in a few years. The relationship you thought will last a life time will wither in a few years. In the grand scheme of thing, nothing matters. No matter how much effort we put in to create our own lives, they will be nought one day. Then why do we spend so much time building a life?
A few days back I shared a poem ‘Leisure’ by W.H. Davies.
What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Yes, what is life if we can’t stop to ‘be’? Can’t stop to enjoy the present?
How does my average day go? ‘Wake up, don’t get out of my bed, switch on my iPhone, read through RSS, Facebook, Twitter, news aggregators, email & messages then go to work in traffic, work, and at end the day repeat the morning ritual.