Jul 12, 2013

Productivity tweaking - too much?

Of late, I have been slightly obsessed with productivity enhancing tools and articles. This year I started listing out my daily to-do list in my daily journal in addition to the reminders for daily jobs on my faithful Astrid. Every morning, I wrote out a big list and chose three MITs (Most Important Tasks) to be completed that day in addition to my menu items for the day. Okay, this listing, so far has been done about 80% of the time till yesterday, at a cursory glance through my journal. On travel/vacation days as well as some stretches when LIFE happens in all caps, this has not happened. And did I manage to finish all list items every day? No way. I was lucky if I could finish at least the MITs!

The news that Astrid was acquired by Yahoo! and is going to be taken off the web (part of me still screams, "Why, why, why???" in true soap opera fashion) knocked me off my feet. For the first time in years, I've had some semblance of accomplishment of my daily routine and here it was going kaput! I hurriedly imported all my data from Astrid and started searching for a viable alternative.

Over the last couple of months, I searched high and low for Astrid's substitute and tried one app after the other while retaining Astrid on my phone. I tried Remember the Milk, ToDoist, Wunderlist, Trello and more.  I signed up for  each in turn and tried using them for a day or two. Something or the other would bug me about the new app and I invariably deleted my account with each. In the process, I also started using Feedly for blog reading because although I have neatly categorized and bookmarked my favorite blogs and keep culling the inactive ones from time to time, I thought I could enhance my reading organization by opting to read through Feedly.

This week I had almost reached breaking point when Astrid's farewell mail came through. Then I happened to read this article: Confessions of a Recovering Lifehacker. I realized that in my search for the perfect tasking app, I was missing out on a lot. I checked my phone - Astrid was working fine and I didn't need to sync it with the web because I only use it on my phone and it functions well enough without syncing up. Plus I have a paper copy of all my recurring tasks as well as a copy on my trusty Evernote if ever my phone crashes and Astrid on my phone is lost. I can easily manage on those in such an eventuality and since I've already tried out some new task apps, I can easily choose one then.

Aaah, relief! In that happy frame of mind I settled down yesterday to watch the final of the Tri-nation series. Now there is something totally unproductive (ok, ok, I did cheat, I took the time to catch up on some reading)!!! I almost kicked myself at 2:45 am for having lost precious sleep sitting up all alone to watch the Indian batting fiasco. But I couldn't switch off the TV because MS was still there!! As he struck ball after ball and didn't run to protect his hamstrings and the other batsman, I marveled at his courage and understood his strategy of waiting for the weak link in the Lankan bowling lineup. But when the last over equation came up, ardent fan that I am, I doubted whether Captain Cool could accomplish it on that pitch. Oh how glad I was to be proven wrong! If you'd been within a ten-mile radius of Karthi at 3 am today, I'm sure you would have been deafened by my war whoop as Dhoni's last sixer flew over the boundary line. I woke up all my family to join in the festivities. We waited till Arun Lal's last gaffe at the presentation ceremony near 4 am. Total amount of sleep yesterday - < 2 hours!!!

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