Peace of Mind Organizing

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Articles tagged with mark forster

Letting laundry help me get things done

28 March 2019 | Comments [0] »

Back in 2010, I wrote a post called Laundry as a time-management tool. I thought of that post yesterday morning, when I realized I needed to fit laundry into my work-at-my-desk day. I ordinarily do laundry on the weekend but I was out of town this past weekend—and I didn’t have enough pairs of underwear to tide me over.

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The hallmarks of a good task list

22 May 2017 | Comments [0] »

Do you keep a task list? I’m surprised by the number of people I meet who don’t. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I think I’d be lost without my task list. And certainly I’d be less productive.

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Making my desk day productive

3 November 2016 | Comments [0] »

My client schedule is light this week and I had high hopes for getting a lot done. I dusted off my important tasks so they were front and center along the urgent stuff. Yet, the last couple of days got away from me. Part of the problem is my obsession with Hamilton and the distraction of the coming election.

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Worth repeating: Getting started

15 August 2014 | Comments [1] »

I love this trick from Mark Forster about tricking your reactive mind into doing things that you have trouble starting. I shared it first in 2008 (!) and thought it was worth repeating today.

Do you ever have items on your to-do list that just loom there? You know you need to do them, you think about doing them, but you just can’t get going on them?

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More wisdom from Mark Forster

16 October 2013 | Comments [0] »

Over the years, I’ve written 47(!) blog posts that mention Mark Forster, my favorite time-management guy. Mark really enjoys thinking about things like time management and productivity. I’ve been a fan ever since I read his book Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management seven years ago.

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Getting a handle on task management

27 February 2013 | Comments [3] »

I’m a bit obsessed with trying to find a great way to stay on top of my tasks. I find that when I’m a task-management groove, life is good. But when a system stops working for me and I get into task-management limbo, I feel out of control and tense.

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Juggling task-management systems

8 October 2012 | Comments [4] »

I know that somewhere around here I have a list—actually I think it’s more than one list—of potential blog post subjects. The idea is that if I sit down to blog without knowing what I want to blog about, I consult the list, where I capture ideas as they come to me, and voila a blog post presents itself.

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App of the week: Wunderlist

22 June 2012 | Comments [0] »

Wunderlist is a website app with a free iPhone app that sync together nicely. It allows me to keep simple lists (there’s not much in the way of bells and whistles). It’s easy to add items to lists. It’s easy to add new lists.

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Mark Forster's latest task-management system

30 April 2012 | Comments [0] »

If you’ve been reading my blog awhile, you know that I’m a big fan of Mark Forster, one of the most creative time-management gurus out there.

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Facing down my to-do list

5 December 2011 | Comments [2] »

I’m just returning from a five-day trip to visit my parents. (I’m blogging from 30,000 feet in the air!) I realized as I was getting into the mindset of getting back to real life that I was afraid to look at (or even open) my to-do list.

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Give yourself a power hour

27 April 2011 | Comments [0] »

I had a client cancellation on Monday and found myself with about six hours of desk time that I hadn’t been expecting. Bliss.

Thanks to Mark Forster’s Superfocus task-management system (of which I’m an unabashed fan), I didn’t have to try to remember all the stuff I needed to do.

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SuperFocus rocks

23 March 2011 | Comments [0] »

Mark Forster, my favorite time management guru, introduced a new task management system, SuperFocus, on February 7 of this year. I’ve been using it since that very day and I’m ready to weigh in on it.

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Kanban for knitting

21 March 2011 | Comments [2] »

Last summer, I wrote about Personal Kanban a visual task-management system that I was trying on for size. It involves using a whiteboard or wall, writing tasks on post-it notes, and moving the post-its from Backlog to Doing to Done columns. An important part of the system is limiting the number of tasks/projects you have in the “Doing” column.

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Mark Forster does it again

16 February 2011 | Comments [0] »

Every now and then I write here that my time management guru, Mark Forster has created a new task-management system and that it’s awesome. In fact, last April I wrote a love letter to DWM, which at the time was his latest system. And then just two months ago, I wrote about a new tweak to Autofocus, which has been my favorite of his systems.

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Mark Forster helps me keep my sanity

7 December 2010 | Comments [0] »

I’ve been a follower of time-management expert Mark Forster for years now. When he develops a new time-management system, I sit up and take notice.

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Setting the bar low

17 September 2010 | Comments [2] »

I’m all for doing things well and keeping commitments. But sometimes, just a little bit of effort is better than no effort. And sometimes if you make a little effort, it can turn into more effort.

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I love my timer

3 September 2010 | Comments [2] »

I’ve been keeping sort of a crazy schedule for the last week. Lots of work outside the home, lots of phone time at home, quite a bit of fatigue. The result is that my email inbox, which I usually try very hard to keep under control, has grown and grown.

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Personal Kanban for task management

28 June 2010 | Comments [8] »

For several years I’ve been using the various task management techniques created by Mark Forster. The most recent has been DWM. But life and work got sort of crazy and I spent a few weeks doing nothing but putting out fires. I ignored my task list in my DWM planner. These task lists are calendar based, so I needed to figure out how best to get back in the saddle.

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DWM: My latest task-management passion

7 April 2010 | Comments [0] »

If you’ve been reading my blog awhile (or if you’ve heard me speak), you know I’m crazy about Mark Forster and his time-management principles. One thing I love about him (besides that he thinks in unorthodox ways) is that he’s always dreaming up new ways to do things. It’s not that he’s just improving upon systems he’s invented in the past (though he does do that). Sometimes he just comes up with something completely different.

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Laundry as a time-management tool

2 March 2010 | Comments [0] »

I admit it. I’ve let the laundry pile up over the last week to ten days. (We have a laundry chute, so the dirty laundry accumulates in a big laundry bin in the basement. Out of sight, out of mind.)

So today, when I had the day free to work at my desk, I knew I had to do laundry. And I was kind of dragging my feet about it, because I didn’t want be distracted by this task.

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Yet another new task-management system from Mark Forster

10 February 2010 | Comments [0] »

Mark Forster is my time management guru. As I’ve blogged about before, I loved his book, Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management. I used his DIT system for managing tasks for a year or so, and then he introduced Autofocus in January 2009. I was a little reluctant to switch at first, because DIT was working for me, but I decided to try it. I was over the moon. (I’ve blogged about Autofocus many times.)

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Getting back on task

29 October 2009 | Comments [0] »

Over the past ten months I’ve written here about my love of the task-management system Autofocus a lot. I do love it. I’ll let you click on the links and learn about it, but, in a nutshell, it involves one long, bound to-do list upon which you dump all your tasks, in no order, and work through it in a particular fashion. There’s no prioritizing, no rewriting the list.

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Getting things done with Autofocus

17 September 2009 | Comments [0] »

I’ve written quite a bit about Autofocus, the task-management system invented by my favorite time-management guru, Mark Forster. The original Autofocus debuted on January 5, 2009. I was an eager beta tester and became an enthusiastic user.

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Brand-new, revised instructions for Autofocus

4 August 2009 | Comments [0] »

I’ve written in some detail about time-management guru Mark Forster’s new task-management system, called Autofocus. I’m a giant fan.

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Autofocus 2 to the rescue

30 June 2009 | Comments [0] »

I’m back from my husband’s family reunion at a lovely mountain resort in Pennsylvania. We had such a nice time. There were over 100 people at the reunion, all of them lovely. We drove the 700 miles to the reunion site, spending a night on the road each direction. It was so nice to get away. I barely thought about work.

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Confessions of a time-management-system junkie

21 April 2009 | Comments [0] »

Through the years, I’ve tried many time- and task-management systems. Like many people who are into this sort of thing (the type of people who enjoy walking the aisles of an office-supply store), I was always drawn to new, shiny systems. I’ve used the FranklinCovey® system, Daytimer®, Day Runner®, QuoVadis, the Planner Pad®, even dabbled in GTD. About 18 years ago, I was practically apoplectic with excitement when I purchased a European-style planner called Time/Line. (Does anyone remember that? It was a lower-cost version of Time/Design, which is now apparently called Time/system. It’s possible I’m remembering the name wrong.)

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Free talk: New ways to get more done

7 April 2009 | Comments [0] »

If you struggle with getting things done and you live in the St. Louis area, you might want to take advantage of the free talk I’ll be giving on April 22 in Webster Groves.

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Free talk on time management

12 March 2009 | Comments [0] »

As part of my plan to present a free organizing-related talk to the public every other month in 2009, I’ve scheduled my April event.

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Excited about my to-do list

9 February 2009 | Comments [0] »

Last week was one of those weeks I wasn’t at my desk much and when I was I had to be focused on urgent items. I’m not sure I actually looked at my to-do list all week, except to add to it.

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Little and often

15 January 2009 | Comments [0] »

We organizers like to talk about breaking big projects down into small steps in order to make them feel less overwhelming. That’s solid advice.

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10 January 2009 | Comments [2] »

As I mentioned last month, time-management guru Mark Forster has developed a brand-new task management system. It’s called Autofocus.

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Last chance to sign up to test Mark Forster's new system

2 January 2009 | Comments [0] »

As I blogged about two weeks ago, time management guru Mark Forster of whom I’m an unbashed fan, has developed a new system for time management (it may be limited to task management, I don’t know). On January 5, he’ll start beta testing it.

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Wanna test a brand new time-management system?

23 December 2008 | Comments [0] »

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a big fan of “Mark Forster”. The principles in his book Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management have been really helpful for me and I credit them with helping me get a handle on time (or at least task) management as well as procrastination.

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"The simplest time management method"

3 December 2008 | Comments [2] »

I’ve written here before about my love of Mark Forster’s book Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management (there’s a link to the book on the right hand column of my blog). For at least a year now, I’ve been working on integrating elements of his system into my life. One of those elements is to create a “will-do” list of tasks that I actually expect to accomplish on a given day. These are individual tasks, as well as daily tasks like responding to yesterday’s email, voicemail and snail mail.

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Declare a backlog

27 October 2008 | Comments [0] »

One of the many strategies offered by Mark Forster in his time-management book Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management (link at right) is the concept of declaring a backlog. (I wrote about some of his other strategies last June in the blog posts, Getting started and Keeping going.)

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Get Everything Done: Blog of the Week

22 October 2008 | Comments [0] »

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a fan of Mark Forster. He’s a time management and personal organization guru who wrote the time-management book I most adhere to, Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management (link at right).

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The value of the to-do list

30 September 2008 | Comments [0] »

Yesterday I blogged about how I couldn’t get anything done. The basic culprit was fatigue from attending back-to-back conferences and sleep deprivation from a needy poodle. But after a good night’s sleep and a little reflection, I identified another reason for yesterday’s lack of focus: I didn’t have a to-do list.

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Check out these productivity tips

19 September 2008 | Comments [0] »

This morning I read this interview with Gina Trapani, the lead editor of Lifehacker on Zen Habits. It’s an interesting interview. In addition to the many posts a day Trapani writes for Lifehacker, she’s the author of a paper version. Her book, which is now in a second edition called Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better is a compendium from the best hacks from I haven’t read it yet, but I do believe I’ll be purchasing it.

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Regaining control

15 September 2008 | Comments [0] »

I wrote on Friday about how my house had become cluttered and messy over the past couple of weeks of whirlwind activity and how I had feet of lead when I thought about doing anything about it. I ended that post with “I hope to report on Monday that my life and business are back in order and that I’m feeling clutter-free and empowered!”

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What's stopping you?

7 August 2008 | Comments [0] »

Most of my clients have a to-do list for organizing tasks. (Some clients can’t figure out where to start, but we take care of that in the first session.) At the end of a hands-on organizing session, we talk about what they plan to do between sessions to further their goals.

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Keeping going

10 June 2008 | Comments [1] »

Yesterday I blogged about overcoming the reluctance to get started on a task, citing Mark Forster’s tip on fooling your reactive mind. Today, I’d like to share some of Forster’s advice about keeping going on tasks once you’ve started.

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Getting started

9 June 2008 | Comments [10] »

Do you ever have items on your to-do list that just loom there? You know you need to do them, you think about doing them, but you just can’t get going on it?

Sometimes, you just need to get started and once you overcome the resistance and do the task, it turns out that it’s not so bad. This happens to me all the time. I build up tasks in my mind, thinking they’re going to take forever, then they take no time at all.

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Just fifteen minutes

3 June 2008 | Comments [0] »

I’m constantly amazed at what can be accomplished in just 15 minutes. I often advise my clients (and I do this myself) to set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on one task: decluttering, filing, sorting, etc. As long as they keep going until that timer dings, they’ll get a good amount done. It’s astounding what can get done in such a small amount of time. (As an aside, that’s one of the ways I use my beloved Time Timer.)

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Packing for the plane

1 May 2008 | Comments [5] »

I’m flying home from Hawaii late this afternoon. It’s an overnight flight and I arrive in St. Louis at 8 in the morning. That’s an eleven hour journey, not counting the time I spend waiting for my flight at the Honolulu airport.

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The morning rush

2 April 2008 | Comments [0] »

I’m a punctuality-challenged person. That’s not a great trait for a professional organizer. My clients have a reasonable expectation that I’ll arrive on time. And besides, it’s just good business to be respectful of your clients’ time.

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Priority management

19 March 2008 | Comments [0] »

Time management isn’t about managing time. It’s about managing priorities. We all have the same amount of time in a day to deal with. How we use it is an indication of our priorities.

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Do It Tomorrow really works

22 February 2008 | Comments [3] »

As I’ve written here before, I decided on January 1 that 2008 would be the year that I take control of my time-management issues. That day, I selected probably a half dozen time management books from my shelf, each one espousing a different philosophy. I thought I’d make a commitment to a single system and really try to adhere to it for a month or so.

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A couple of time (and money) savers

17 January 2008 | Comments [1] »

This year I’m a quest to save time and be more productive. It’s going well. Thanks to the techniques found in Mark Forster book, Do It Tomorrow (link in the Links section at right) and Don’t Break the Chain I’m more productive than I’ve been in a long time.

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The perfect purse

10 January 2007 | Comments [0] »

I don’t know how men do without a purse. How can they possibly take everything they need along with them? You never hear them complaining about it, though. Perhaps they have a different perception of what they need to have with them at all times. Hmmm. Maybe I should take a page from their book and try just carrying a wallet and cell phone.

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Where does the day go?

2 January 2007 | Comments [0] »

Today was the one day this week where I planned to get a lot of stuff done. I have client appointments each day the rest of the week and while they’re just half-day appointments, I find it’s hard to be ultra-productive the second half of the day. I had big plans for getting so much accomplished in the broad expanse of time available today.

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Do it tomorrow

28 November 2006 | Comments [4] »

I was a writer for many years (mostly magazine articles and books) and I couldn’t work without a deadline. The deadline would dictate when I started working on a story and, to be honest, there was usually a lot of procrastination involved.

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