Evaluate Your Productivity Like a Company (Literally)

I want to capture your attention with the following claim.

I claim that users who follow the provided methodology, principle and algorithm will be able to

Have flexibility to balance any aspect of their life

Progressively and systematically working toward their goals.

Have ability to finish any tasks before deadlines

Have time to pursue side projects that they want to but never thought they would have time to do

Have time learn every things that they want.

If you still here, sit back relax and enjoy the ride…

Defining Terminologies

“Getting Things Done” by David Allen is one of my all time favorite book. I admit that it is quite weird that I have “Getting Things Done” ahead of book like lord of the Ring. One of the reason might be because I never read fiction books.

But that’s beside the point.

The main reason I love “Getting Things Done” is because the book provide algorithms for individuals to be productive. This is literally a big break through in how one can be productivie. I bold the word algorithms because most productivity books do not provide algorithms of how to be productive. Rather they provide principles of how to be productive such as

Select 3 tasks to complete each day

That does not cut it for me. because I don’t know what kinds of task to select and if I select 3 tasks to complete each day, will I accomplished my short term goals or long term goal or side project? Even if I can finished them all, it definitely not guarantee whether it will always be done before deadlines or not.

Principles are good to have but it loads an individuals with cognitive burden which requires to guide each and every step to be align with the principles one follows.

On the other hand, algorithms provide an individuals with a sequence of step to complete a task, so one does not need to keep track of every single action one needs to do or whether selected action was the right action to execute.

Lets back up just a little bit and try to first understand terminologies that I use so we are all on the same page. Let me define what I mean by action, task, list, and goal. This is definitely not an exhausted list of terminologies used in “Getting Things Done”. Also, this is not a summary of the book’s content, so I will quickly go through it.

Definition of action, task, list, and goal

My definition of these terminology may or may not be the same definition defined in “Getting Things Done.” Contents in the book simply described productivity’s theories, principles and algorithms which claims to allows one to reach one’s maximum capacity by being as productive as one can be while maintain balances in all aspects of ones life. That’s a mouthful.

I define “action” as a smallest unit of action one need to do to complete a Task.

A “task” is a smallest unit of things you need to complete to progress toward your goals.

A “list” contains a collection of tasks that belong in the same category.

Lastly, a “goal” is a collection of task connected by together by a set of actions. If you are a visual learner (I oppose using this term “visual learner” because I think it is a bad categorization of intelligence, humans learn better with help of pictures!!, but that’s another story for another time), you can think of achieving a goal as a walking on a graph containing a sequence of nodes (task) connected by a directed edge with no close loop.

Lets continues..

Until now, I make “Getting Things Done” sounds like a holy grail of your productivity journey. No, it is not it. The book explains rigidly on every single aspects EXCEPT 2 things. It does not provide you with algorithms or even principles to validate your past productivity. How do I suppose to know I am doing the right things! This facts bothers me for the longest time.

To be fair, it does provide some validation principle such as if tasks are accumulated faster than they are completed, then you whole productivity workflow probably sucks and needs to be changed.

But that is not concrete enough! okay, your principles tell me that my workflow sucks but how can I fixed it. Another things that bothers me is it does not get into too much details of how to deal with deadline concretely.

Fortunately, I think I solve these 2 problems: Validation and Deadline.

I solved the problem with the help of workflow app “ClickUp.” This is not a promotion article. There are probably other cool app out there that could also validate your productivity rate.

This articles name is “Evaluate Your Productivity Like a Company (Literally).” and you might guess it. Yes, we are going to fixed the validation and deadline problem the same way biggest companies in the world do them using Dashboard, Portfolio, Report, and Goal Setting.

I think of this idea when I realized that validation and deadline are essence of company workflow to maximize their employee productivity. No companies would survive if they sucks as dealing with deadline. Companies probably suck if they don’t analyze their performance using employee performance report. And start up companies probably failed if they don’t know how to set reasonable quarterly goal.

It’s time for my showcase. lets me show you my “productivity dashboard.”

My Productivity Dashboard

Productivity Dashboard

For each task that I created, it must have 7“columns.” In the other word, a task has six features. The six features are “Due Date”,“Activity Types,” “Priority Level,” “Energy” , “Project Type” , and lastly, “Today Task.”

Due Date = self explanatory

Activity Types = Software engineering, Data science, researching, self-branding, other

Energy = How much focus you need to complete a task? High, Medium, Low

Project Type= main project ,Learning project, Side-project

Today Task = are you selected the task to do today?

Furthermore each task has 3 stages: ToDo, Doing, Complete.

Any of the above are customized. You have full control over what you want.

Notice that I do not have estimated time per task because this requirement is not flexible. For example, there are some tasks that are new to you and you have no idea how long the task might take.

Dashboard’s blocks Explained

Time to describe what each block means. I will briefly discuss each table within the dashboard.

Priority per Project

Priority Per project

Each bar represents a Project Type. Each bar is divided into task ranked by priority level.

Activity Type per Project

Activity Type per Project

I know that you see 1 bar is represented by 1 color, but, ultimately, each bar could have up to 5 layers: Software Engineering, Self Branding, Data Science, Researching and Others.

Priority Bar Chart

Priority Bar Charts

This chart just counts tasks per priority levels. The goal here is to reduce number of high priority task while haven’t average line as low as possible.

Task Status

This chart is task per status. Goal is to not talking on too many task at once time (Doing). Another goal is to complete ToDo task fast enough to maintain 30–70 ratios (Doing:ToDo)

Activity Types Tracker

Activity Types Tracker

This chart templates are used to balance any aspect of your life. Goal is to maintain desirable ratio between each tasks over time. ( it is accumulated overtime)

I use this chart only to task related to works and researches. You could imagine having similar charts created for family and friends, so you girlfriend cannot nag about “how you spending so much time with friends” with you spend 80 percent of every single day with her last week. just a warning. I don’t recall last time logic win over emotion. but hey! if you want to go there, why not. let me know how it goes. LMAO

Productivity Tracker

Productivity Tracker

Goal of this chart is to balance among of task between Not Started, In Progress, and Done.

This is an important chart when you have many side projects going on at one time. It allows you to identify at an instant whether you take on too many projects which cause some of your deadline to be impossible to be delivered on time.

I figure that the article is already too long. In the next article, i will further explains Algorithms and Principle one can use to decide on the next action to execute. I will repeat here again.

I claim that users who follow the provided algorithms and principles will be able to

Have flexibility to balance any aspect of their life

Progressively and systematically working toward their goals.

Have ability to finish any tasks before deadlines

Have time to pursue side projects that they want to but never thought they would have time to do

Have time learn every things that they want.

I know it is a big claims, and I will try my best not to disappoint you.

Part 2 you will learn how to set realistic Goals and I will also show you how to do it on ClickUp. The meat of topics will be on validation principle and algorithms and deadline principle and algorithms. These two are missing parts of principles and algorithms provided in “Getting Things Done.” I will also provide examples of how I use it on daily basis.

To put a nice touch to the series, in part 3, I may touch on less important features of ClickUp: Portfolio and Report.

Fun facts: combining Report and your internet activity tells may allow you to discover subtle pattern you never know you have, such as “prime working hour.”

let me know if you want me to expand on any of the topics mention in part 2 and part 3.

to be continue….

Thank you reading!

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