Sticking with my Routines!

In the movie „Matrix“ Morpheus tells Neo about the touchstone of wisdom:

There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

More and more i have to internalize all i’ve learned in the last year. To learn new habits. Rituals are the best ways to reprogram myself.

1.Weekly Review

The importante of this GTD-Ritual is a main insight for me. I explained my understanding of this productivity-backbone before months. To review my trusted system regulary every week remains my main task!

2.Morning Routine

Another piece of gold i found last year is my morning routine:
– to practice of good habits (e.g. healthy breakfast, meditation early in the morning)
– to reorder the tasks in Nozbe according to the places (contexts) i will be (and to redefine my context list )
– to focus on what’s really important using my personal leadership board
NOT to begin my day checking emails

3.Evening Ritual

The evening ritual helps me to complete the day:
– writing my diary
– cleaning my inboxes (especially emails)


Living conditions can change.
Goals need to be readjusted.
But this I think this three points are solid stepstones on the way of life.
Or – to quote another famous movie:

The same procedure as every year!

email: take control over the chaos


When the first smartphones occurred in my life, I had the feeling: now I am writing emails as formerly SMS! In the beginning I found that great and was proud to answer emails directly. It flattered my ego, when I heard:

„you are so good accessible!“

But- over time this silly use of email dominated my life. All day – often before standing up in the morning – the red notifications called me:

„that’s important – read me – react – now!“

Sounds familiar? Then it’s necessary to win back your life, reject false habits and assign emails the place they belong to!
A sentence at the beginning of the worth reading book by Klaus Raab „we are online – where are you?“ woke me up:

emails – the pneumatic post system of modern communication, because it‘s no communication in real time …

Wow! I was caught in the wrong beliefs – wrong beliefs nurtured by the expectations of my profession:

wrong beliefs: reachable – available

The pastor is always at work – and always reachable!
This sentence I heard in my professional training. It leads to a fundermantal misunderstanding.  reachable does not mean available! 
– if someone sends me an email, it reaches me through my email-inbox: I was reachabel.
– if someone calls me and speaks on my voice mail, he has me reached.
– if someone sends me a message – an SMS, a WhatsApp or by faceook-messanger – then this message reaches me.
 Availability is something else: I’m available, if it‘s possible for me to take up the phone, when my phone rings. 
Emails the other hand reach me. They must not immediately be answered. Emails are like letters reaching me by post. The short „checking“ of emails will cost me only unnecessarily time and energy – I do not look every 30 minutes to my mailbox at home.

the medium is the message

It’s my duty as pastor to be reachable and to respond in a reasonable period. The period based on the communication channel, which is used:
– calls: like Face-to-Face-communication – probably the matter is urgently! If e.g. a undertaker needs my feedback to nail a Date for a funeral, he calls me.
– short messages: short messages work in real time too – but in my experience they are rarely really urgent.
– emails: because email communication is no communication in Real Time, they can actually never be urgent. Unfortunately they are often used for urgent affairs. Colleagues, looking urgently for a substitute, questions unfortunately often by email other colleagues – probably because with an email at the same time several pastors can be achieved simultanely.
– letters: letters can never be urgently. A letter needs maximum three days to arrive.

These days, you don’t have to treat emails like traditional letters. Every recipient cares only about the concrete information, not the background noise that simply hampers their efforts of getting to the chase. #10stepsbook

differentiation the communication channels: changing habits

To regain my life again. Not to get dictated from the flut of information, what ist now urgent. I do need to develop new habits. But first i have to clarify what significance what kind of communication has:
– telephone calls have for me high priority. I go immediately to the ringing telephone – or as soon as I have free time, for example directly after a conversation I check my mailbox and call back.
– email: can not be urgent. the multiple „check“ of emails on the smartphone fills my head only with unnecessary information to which I can not respond appropriately. Therefore i reserve 2-3 periods a day in which i process emails: at the later morning (after i did my Big Rocks), in the afternoon (precaution: maybe somebody used an email for „urgent things“) and evening as part of my evening-ritual (to make sure i can sleep).
 That way i determine the time emails get – and will not from the emails determined!

processing emails: switch in the email mode

email – ready – go: inbox zero

In the film „over the top“ the trucker Lincoln Hawk before his competitions brings himselfe in the right mental moode for it by turning his cap backwards: this ritual transformed him in a maschine. The same way we can process emails:

it’s evening. the work is done  now , it is time to process the emails!
In the next hour i’ll do nothing else – only achieve my goal: Inbox Zero! I follow the same system, i always follow – the „getting-things-done method“ (GTD) of David Allen. Processing emails follows the same rules as the „processing“ any other inbox:

1. rule: top down – touch it once

I start top-down: I do not glance through nor go at wish. I deal with each mail only a single time and decide what to do next.

2. rule: what is it-decision -2 minutes per mail

Tell yourselfe the basic question:  requires this email an action of mine? The following responses to an email requires less than 2-minutes – you can  immediately  do it:
– it’s spam or other email garbage?? then off in the  spam / trash folder!
– it is a info-mail, a Newsfeed or something like this? Normally appropriate filters can avoid that these type of mail get into here! You can read this information later, because they are not urgent. Do you work with an email folder system, move this type of mail in the folder „reading later“. I prefer Evernote, there these mails goes – i deal with this kind of information, when i have time – in the waiting room at the doctor, on a train ride, …  someday / maybe .
– I can answer a email immediately, within two minutes, then do it now. Briefly – I write no novels.
– Or I forward / delegate : a question for a baptizism – and i‘m not responsible? I redirect to the competent colleagues – that is not my project!
The email applies to one of my projects, but i can do nothing: I forward the mail to the competent person – with „BCC“ -kopie to my GTD app Nozbe. There this request becomes a part of the corresponding project with the context „waiting for“ + „name of the responsible person“ so that I keep track. During the weekly review i will meet this task again.

3. if it takes longer … into the „trusted system“!

If an email relates to one of my own projects, it can become „reference material“ – and will stored in Evernote1. Requires the email from me one or more actions, i will transform the mail to a task of an existing project or the topic of the email will become a project themselfe:
3.1 the email concerns me directly and belongs to an existing project: 
I send this type of email per nozbe-email-adress to my GTD system, add the context and possibly the due date. The email client i use generates a link for each email so it’s possible to store this link together with the email text in my GTD program: so I can answer the email interacting nozbe and email client easily: the link turns me to the correct email in the archive folder. During my weekly review i will meet this task again.
3.2 the email concerns me directly, but i’ve still no existing project:
I mail this email to my GTD app, there the mail becomes a new project. Alternative: I sent the email to Evernote and use it as a reference material – in Nozbe i can generate a project out of the Evernote-Note and the related tasks. My GTD app nozbe has – as well as Evernote – an email address.

developing new habits

  1. Make an appointment with yourself at which times you want to process emails a day.  two to three periods  should totally suffice. Stick to this appointment! This helps:
  2. Delete the email app from your smartphone! Or less radically: move the email app from the home screen out of visibility – and  turn off the notifications as well as the news-push.
  3. Check no emails – process them as described above.  processing: touch it once! 
  4. Largest reward: more time for your important things!  If you notice that your new approach helps you to gain more time for your really important things – this will motivate you to stick with your new email habits.
    Here you will find a summary as nozbe-how template.

  1. In nozbe i can attach this Evernote-Note to an project. 

Shit in – shit out

weekly review matters!

A friend of mine from the computer science industry once said:

shit in, shit out. As simple as that!
In fact:
– I do not care for my system, I do not trust the system.
– and: if I do not think at least a week in advance, I will sink in the stress of everyday life.
So every week a do it again:
– I look back at the last week: is there anything i missed?
– A Check my Waiting-for-list: did not someone contact me in time?
– I look forword on the next two weeks in advance (these projects come on top of my nozbe-labeled list „Big Rocks“).
– I look on on my personal-leadership-board to focus on my goals – the other side of my Big Rocks
– i review my project-list: is everything finde?
– at last my my someday-maybe-list: can i do something new?
Think once a week – so I do not have to think about it during the coming week!
If you don’t regularly review your system, tasks, projects and goals, you’ll quickly start drifting aimlessly reacting only to what others have planned for you.“

Using Colors in Nozbe connecting the Horizons of Focus

try and error

I tried many many times to find a meaningful use case for the colors in Nozbe:
– I gave each Areas of Focus a color (e.g. violet for work in general, red for „pastor“, blue for „friend“ and so on.
– I differentiated work and private projects through colors
– I pictures the course of each project with colors (e.g. red for projects that were stuck, yellow if all ist fine, green for completed projects)
But – all these tries weren’t satisfying.

Horizons of Focus: A new Approach

Yesterday i designed the GTD-Horizons of Focus simply in excel. On the 50.000 feet level i defined my values, in the levels lying underneath this values i tagged using a value-specific color. For example on 50.000 feet i defined the value „family“, this card gets the yellow label „family“. This label reoccured on the other levels to represent the connection of this Horizon with the value.

The Areas of Focus are the pivot point, where this overview in excel must pass over to my Projektmanagemantsystem Nozbe. But how?

Labels and colors in Nozbe to bridge the gap

To bridge the gap between the big picture, the personal leadership-board, and the concrete projects and tasks in Nozbe (personal management) i use labels and colors:

labels with a „#“ stand for my areas of Focus.

Reviewing weekly my projects i use this labels to focus on my goals.

colors represent these areas of focus too

So i have a nice overview, when i‘m planning my day every morning: to distinguish goal orientated tasks from others and to do first things first.

scanners are a man’s best friends

Or: How to take control over my documents

Once upon a time – i filled many file folders with paper … Did i ever look anything up of it?
I once asked the secretary of my bureau, what she do with the letters from the Church Office. „I put them in the folder“. – „If you are looking for this letter, how do you do it? Or is the letter just gone?“ – „Mh – it’s just gone.“
An honest answer. So i stick to my practice which i develop as a habit for several years now – and scan …
As i wrote in an earlier post, i have at any time everything with me what i may need. And i’m able to find in a very short amount of time what i need. That why i scan everything!

“Make a digital copy of all of the most important ones that you don’t want to lose or can still come in handy.“ #10stepsbook

office equipment and work flow

All i need is a document scanner and/or smartphone and an paper based filesystem A-Z.

use of document scanner and/or smartphone

I scan all my papers. The best day of my life was when i bought a document scanner. I remove the clips and the scanner scans front and back of a paper in a breeze. I use my smartphone to do the scan-job, if it is a book or something else i mustn’t destroy.
The scanned papers i take once a week to the office to the paper shredder – done!

Evernote or iCloud or Nozbe

I save the scans as searchable pdf. The file name begins with the date in the form: YYYY-MM-DD and normally i save this file in Evernote. Because my digital GTD-Manager Nozbe integrates with Evernote, i can use this pdf as reference material for a task or a project. Evernote has this amazing text search.
Very sensitive data i save in iCloud or even better in Nozbe because of its very heavy encryption.

contracts etc.

Only very few papers i archive in my A to Z file folder system. Follow the recommendation of David Allen to use these file folders i can simply fill without punching etc. Because if it’s not simple, it will take too longe time to maintain the archive.

the disadvantage: „what do we actually have…“

If you have everything at hand at any time and any place – your are a desired person. The danger is that your colleagues rely on you – that’s a burden and a joy 😉

Getting Focus through contexts

The using of contexts is one of the main differences between David Allens „Getting Things Done“ (GTD) and a common taskmanagementsystem. Contexts – or in a wider definition categories – prepare you to do the tasks through batching similar tasks throughout all projects.

“Categories are like having an extra weapon in your armory – they allow you to group tasks from different projects…“ #10stepsbook
What are these mysterious weapons?

What are contexts?

Projectlists are fine to gain an overview of your plans and commitments during the weekly review. But contexts let you come in a specifically mood oder situation, where you can do a specific sort of tasks.


Contexts are discrete categories, which divide your great amount of tasks, so that you can really do them. According to David Allen is a context necessary tool, situation or person to do a task.

First Step of deciding what to do next

Consequentialy this is the first step to decide, what to do next. With a spade you cannot write an letter, nor with a pencil dig over your garden. Only when you have the right tool etc. right at hand, then you can do the job!
So the other criterias to decide what to do next, depend on the right context: Your amount of time – your energy level and at least your priorities. All starts with the fit to the right context.

development of contexts

So far so good – seems simple – but is it really?

Clearly distinctions till the 90s

In the former times you went to your workplace to do your job. Back at home you were private and/ or a family person. In that way the context were distinguished: At the computer in the bureau you could do your work. At home you could write – even on your personal computer – private letters and so on.

confusions through the smartphone-revolution

Today everything has changed because of the smartphone-revolution: we can e.g. write emails everywhere – even business or private ones. Today we are always online – we do not need to go to a specific place, to a computer connected with the internet.
The fact of this causes us to rethink the use of contexts. Here is my try:

How i use contexts

I’m experimenting with contexts for years how my context settings suited best to my life:

Tools and technology

I use the category „technology“ to do all the tasks I need a computer for: All what can i do with my smartphone, tablet or stationary computer.
Still i use the category „phone calls“ and „email“ yet to differenciate these tasks, because of their specific character: Phone calls can i do during car driving (with a headset of course) or when i have only a few minutes befor the next meeting. For processing emails i have reserved a few periods a day, when i want process them (not check!).


Contexts also stand for a certain state of mind: When i want process my emails, i go in the email-processing-mood. Same with taking calls.
Thats why i have contexts defined for specific moods like „thinking“ or „reading/reviewing“.


Places have still a importance: Some tasks i can only do in the “bureau“, others at „home“ or while “purchasing“.


If i meet colleagues, it is useful to know what i have to discuss or clarify with them. So for important persons in my job or private life i have a context with their „name“. Have i tasks delegated to someone else, i add the category „waiting for“ to this task – fortunately my GTD-software Nozbe allows me to give a task more than one context. For this example the name of the person in combination with „waiting for“.


In my professional life meetings have an important role. Therefore all my tasks have the context of this type of meeting with them where i have this manner to discuss:
– Meeting with my pastor colleagues
– Presbyterium (the leading organ of a parish)
– committees
– groups like the visiting service and so on
The task gets the date of the meeting where i have to discuss this topic – very helpful to structure the themes of meetings which reoccuer regularily.


My most important tasks i want to complete today get the „MIT“-category. In Nozbe i can filter my priority list so that i can see these 1-3 MITs only – until i’ve completed them. I assign these category during my morning routine.


Thats the overview of my category-settings.
I experimented even with „Energy levels“ according to Sven Fechner which i added additionally to my tasks – but i found this a step to much, because i want define my tasks as easy as possible.
Contexts still are the weapon to get your stuff done. But a rethinking if your defined contexts still fit to your needs is necessary from time to time. 

Teams, technology and obstacles

Or why for me collaboration with Nozbe has never really worked so far.

Lonely geniuses

„Pastors are like artists“ – said once a colleague to me. Presumably it implied that geniuses are lonely.
A German proverb says a lot about the willingness to cooperate in my profession:

Blessed are the legs that stand at the altar alone.
What means: two pastors is one too many 😉

The Holy Spirit as a translator

Indeed the 2000-year-old Pentecost story tells us what matters: that people from different cultures can share the same vision and communicate with each other!
One can not really wish for a better mission statement for cooperation – and just the secular field teaches us the importance of teamwork. And bet on the spirit of the community – swarm intelligence.

Nozbe as an attempt

Often I’ve already tried to get colleagues to work on projects with the help of Nozbe – whether the hurdle „technology“ was the real reason – or whether „can not“ as so often lives in the „Will not“ street – who knows …
In any case, I find it excellent that nozbe was and is designed to collaborate right from the start – even with people without a nozbe account.


Another dimension comes into play through the Nozbe-How templates: I am able to participate in other people’s best practices, to be inspired by their knowledge – a great example of generosity.
Nozbe and collaboration – I never give up!

E-mail: Das Chaos kontrollieren

Als die smartphones in mein Leben traten, hatte ich das Gefühl: Jetzt schreibe ich E-Mails wie früher SMS! Zuerst fand ich das toll und war stolz darauf auf E-Mails unmittelbar zu antworten. Es schmeichelte meinem Ego, wenn ich hörte:

„Sie sind aber gut erreichbar!“.

Im Laufe der Zeit führte aber der unreflektierte Gebrauch von E-Mail bei mir dazu, dass ich mich von der immer mehr anwachsenden Flut von Nachrichten beherrschen ließ. Den ganzen Tag – oft noch vor dem Aufstehen – erregten die roten Notifications meine Aufmerksamkeit und riefen mir zu:

„Das ist dringend – tue was – jetzt!“

Kommt Ihnen das bekannt vor? Dann ist es nötig, unser Leben zurück zu gewinnen, falsche Gewohnheiten abzulegen und E-Mails den Platz zuzuweisen, den sie verdienen!
Ein Satz zu Beginn des lesenswerten Buches von Klaus Raab “Wir sind online – wo seid ihr?”  lies mich aufhorchen: emails – das Rohrpost-System der modernen Kommunikation, da keine Kommunikation in Echtzeit … da hatte ich E-Mails doch wahrhaftig völlig falsch eingeschätzt – ich war gefangen in falschen Überzeugungen, die auch durch die Erwartungen an meinen Beruf genährt wurden:

Falsche Überzeugungen: Erreichbar – Verfügbar. Oder „Nur mal kurz die Welt retten“

Der Pfarrer ist immer im Dienst – und auch stets erreichbar!

Diesen Satz habe ich in meiner Ausbildung gehört. Das Kirchenrecht meiner Landeskirche formuliert das so:

Pfarrdienstgesetz § 37: Erreichbarkeit
( 1 ) Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer müssen erreichbar sein und ihren Dienst innerhalb angemessener Zeit im Dienstbereich aufnehmen können.

Eine Vorgabe, die leicht falsch verstanden werden kann:
Erreichbar heißt nicht verfügbar!
– Wenn mir jemand eine email schickt, landet sie in meinem Posteingang: Der Mensch hat mich erreicht.
– Wenn mich jemand anruft und auf meinen Anrufbeantworter spricht, hat er mich erreicht.
– Schickt mir jemand eine Kurznachricht – eine sms, eine whatsapp oder per faceook-messanger – dann erreicht mich diese Nachricht.
Verfügbarkeit ist aber etwas anderes: Verfügbar bin ich, wenn ich den Hörer direkt abnehmen kann, wenn mein Telefon klingelt.
E-Mails hingegen erreichen mich. Sie müssen genauso wenig sofort beantwortet werden, wie die die Briefe, die mich per Post erreichen. Das vermeintliche kurze „checken“ der emails kostet mich aber nur unnötig Zeit und Energie – ich laufe ja auch nicht alle 30 Minuten zum Briefkasten.

The medium is the message

Es ist meine Pflicht als Pfarrer in einem angemessenen Zeitraum auf diese Nachrichten zu reagieren. Der Zeitraum bemisst sich auch anhand des Kommunikationskanals, der verwendet wird:
– Anrufe: Sie sind neben dem persönlichen Gespräch die direkteste Kontaktaufnahme – vermutlich ist die Angelegenheit dringend! Möchte ein Bestatter mich wegen eines Beerdigungstermins erreichen, ruft er mich an.
– Kurznachrichten: Auch Kurznachrichten arbeiten in Echtzeit – enthalten aber meiner Erfahrung nach nur selten wirklich Dringendes.
– E-mails: Da E-Mail-Kommunikation keine Kommunikation in Echtzeit ist, können sie eigentlich nie Dringliches enthalten. Leider werden sie oft für dringende Angelegenheiten verwendet. Kollegen, die eine Vertretung für eine Trauerfeier suchen, fragen leider oft per E-Mail anderer Kollegen an – vermutlich, weil sich mit einer E-Mail gleichzeitig mehrere PfarrerInnen erreicht werden können1.
– Post: In der Post kann sich nie Dringliches verstecken – allein der Postweg von 1-3 Tagen verdeutlicht das.

Differenzierung der Kommunikationskanäle: Einüben von neuen Gewohnheiten

Um mein Leben wieder in die Hand zu bekommen, um mir nicht von der Informationsflut diktieren zu lassen, was jetzt angeblich dringend sein soll, muss ich neue Gewohnheiten entwickeln. Dazu muss ich zunächst für mich klären, welchen Stellenwert welche Art der Kommunikation bekommen soll:
– Telefonanrufe haben für mich hohe Priorität. Entweder gehe ich direkt dran – oder sobald ich freie Zeit habe, z.B. direkt nach einem Gespräch, frage ich meinen AB ab und rufe zurück.
– Emails: Sie können nicht dringend sein. Das vielfache „checken“ von emails auf dem smartphone füllt meinen Kopf nur mit unnötigen Informationen, auf die ich jetzt sowieso nicht angemessen reagieren kann. Deshalb reserviere ich mir 2-3 Zeiträume am Tag, in denen ich bewusst E-Mails abarbeite – nicht checke: Am späteren Vormittag (nachdem ich mich mit dem Beschäftigt habe, das für mich an diesen Tag am wichtigsten ist), am Nachmittag (Vorsorge, damit mir falsch verwendete „dringliche“ E-Mails nicht entgehen) und abends vor dem Feierabend (um sicher zu gehen, dass ich beruhigt schlafen kann).
So bestimme ich die Zeit, die ich E-Mails einräume – und werde nicht von den E-Mails bestimmt!

E-Mails abarbeiten: Umschalten in den E-Mail-Modus

email – fertig – los: INBOX ZERO

Im Film „Over the Top“ bringt sich der Trucker Lincoln Hawk vor seinen Armdrückwettkämpfen in den richtigen mentalen Modus dafür, indem er seine Schirmmütze nach hinten dreht: Das ist für ihn das Ritual, mit dem er sich in eine Kampfmaschine verwandelt. Genau so konzentriert wird das Abarbeiten von E-Mail zum Erfolg:

Es ist Abend. Das Tagwerk ist getan – JETZT ist es Zeit die e-Post zu beantworten!
In der nächsten Stunde werde ich nichts anderes tun als emails bearbeiten. Mein Ziel: Den Posteingang auf NULL bringen!

Ich orientiere mich beim Abarbeiten von E-Mails an dem System, mit dem ich auch sonst arbeite – der „Getting-Things-Done-Methode“ (GTD) von David Allen.
Das Abarbeiten von E-Mails folgt den selben Regeln wie das „processing“ jeder anderen Inbox auch:

1. Regel: Der Reihe nach – Touch it once

Ich überfliege nicht die einzelnen emails, gehe nicht nach Belieben vor, sondern von oben nach unten – jede mail einzeln und für sich. Ich lese nicht quer, sondern beschäftige mich mit jeder E-Mail nur ein einziges Mal und entscheide, was mit ihr zu geschehen hat.

2. Regel: Was ist es-Entscheidung – maximal 2 Minuten pro mail

Stellen Sie sich bei jeder E-Mail die Grundfrage: Erfordert diese E-Mail eine Handlung von mir? Die folgenden Reaktionen auf eine E-Mail erfordern weniger als 2-Minuten – sie können sofort getan werden:
– Ist sie Spam oder sonstiger E-Mail-Müll? ? Dann ab in den Spam-/Trash-Ordner damit!
– Ist es eine Info-Mail, ein newsfeed oder dergleichen? Die sollten normalerweise durch entsprechende Filter gar nicht erst hier landen! Lesen kann ich diese Informationen später, da brennt nichts an. Arbeite ich mit einem email-Ordner-System, verschiebe ich die mail in den Ordner “Lesestoff”. Ich bevorzuge EVERNOTE, dorthin leite ich mails dieser Art weiter und beschäftige mich mit dieser Art von Informationen, wenn Zeit dafür ist – im Wartezimmer beim Arzt, auf einer Zugfahrt, … someday/maybe.
– Kann ich eine email sofort, d.h. innerhalb von zwei Minuten beantworten, dann tue ich das jetzt. Dazu fasse ich mich kurz – ich schreibe keine Romane.
– Oder ich leite weiter/ delegiere: Eine Taufanfrage – und die mütterliche Autorin der mail wohnt gar nicht in meinem Seelsorgebezirk? Weiterleitung an den zuständigen Kollegen – das ist nicht mein Projekt!
Die mail betrifft eines meiner Projekte, ich kann aber nichts tun:
 Weiterleitung bzw. neue mail an die zuständige Person – mit “bcc”-Kopie an meine GTD-App. Dort wird meine Anfrage unter dem entsprechenden Projekt mit dem Kontext “warten auf” + “Name des Zuständigen” hinterlegt, damit ich den Überblick behalte. Spätestens bei der wöchentlichen Durchsicht wird mir diese Anfrage wieder vorliegen und ich kann bei Bedarf nachhaken.

3. Wenn es länger dauert … ab ins „trusted system“!

Betrifft eine E-Mail eines meiner eigenen Projekte, kann sie zum Typ „Referenzmaterial“ gehören – und wird von mir in Evernote abgelegt, so dass ich die Informationen leicht wieder finde.
Erfordert die E-Mail von mir eine oder mehrere Handlungen, pflege ich sie als Aufgabe eines bereits bestehenden Projekts ein oder das Thema der E-Mail wird selbst zu einem eigenen Projekt:
Die email betrifft mich direkt und gehört inhaltlich zu einem bestehenden Projekt:
Ich leite sie in mein GTD-System um, betitel sie mit der Aufgabe, die sich für mich aus ihr ergibt, füge Kontext und evtl. das Datum an, an dem die Sache spätestens erledigt werden muss. Ich verwende einen E-Mail-Client, der einen link für die jeweilige E-Mail generiert und diesen gemeinsam mit dem E-Mail-Text in meinem GTD-Programm ablegt: So kann ich zur Beantwortung der E-Mail zwischen Nozbe und E-Mail-Client bequem zurückspringen, die richtige E-Mail finden und diese beantworten. Nachdem ich die Aufgabe erstellt habe, verschiebe ich diese E-Mail in den Archiv-Ordner. In meiner wöchentlichen Systemdurchsicht werde ich spätestens wieder auf diese Aufgabe stoßen und justiere evtl. meine Einschätzung noch einmal nach.
Die email betrifft mich direkt, ich habe aber noch kein bestehendes Projekt:
Ich leite sie in meine GTD-App um und eröffne mit ihr ein neues Projekt. Alternative: Ich leite die E-Mail nach Evernote um und verwende sie als Referenzmaterial, aus dem ich dann das Projekt sowie die dazugehörigen Aufgaben generiere.
Meine GTD-App Nozbe hat – ebenso wie Evernote – eine E-Mail-Adresse, die ich dazu verwenden kann.

Neue Gewohnheiten entwickeln

  1. Treffen Sie mit sich selbst die Verabredung, zu welchen Uhrzeiten Sie E-Mails abarbeiten möchten. Zwei bis drei Zeiträume sollten völlig ausreichen. Halten Sie diese Verabredung ein! Dazu hilft:
  2. Löschen Sie die E-Mail-App vom smartphone! Oder weniger radikal: Verschieben Sie die E-Mail-App vom Startbildschirm aus der unmittelbaren Sichtweite – und schalten sie die Benachrichtigungen sowie den Nachrichten-Push aus. Dadurch fällt es Ihnen vielleicht leichter – mir ging es zumindest so.
  3. Checken Sie keine E-Mails – arbeiten Sie sie vielmehr konzentriert ab wie oben beschrieben. Processing: Touch it once!
  4. Die größte Belohnung: Mehr Zeit für die wichtigen Dinge! Wenn Sie merken, dass Ihr neues Vorgehen Sie spürbar entlastet, Ihnen hilft mehr Zeit für das zu haben, was Ihnen wichtig ist – und gleichzeitig kein Feedback kommt, Sie seien einer dieser unzuverlässigen Pfarrer, denen immer etwas „wegrutscht“ – dann ist das die Motivation, Ihre neue E-Mail-Gewohnheiten weiter zu pflegen.

Hier finden Sie eine Zusammenfassung als Nozbe-How-Vorlage.

Flatter is better!

I have a great affinity for digital tools – although my profession is not known for: since I’ve been working with David Allen’s method, I’ve always been looking for the best tool. Of course on my quest i quickly found Omnifocus, because i work exclusively on Apple devices. Pretty early I also discovered Nozbe. But after a year of daily use of Nozbe, I felt a bit struck by my long project list.
I’ve switched to Omnifocus again: Omnifocus has evolved from an outliner. The organization principle in Omnifocus is nesting: A project can have subprojects. Projects can be grouped into folders. This makes the surface very clear.

The advantage of the flat project structure of Nozbe I only learned to appreciate through the hard reality:

Once I had to plan a worship service where there were three baptisms. So I created the worship service as a project in Omnifocus and the three baptisms as three subprojects of this one big project. When i met ohne of the families and wanted to spontaneously find something to one of the other baptisms, I completely lost myself in the structure of Omnifocus.

After that, I swore to myself: less nested, the simpler and more transparent, the better.

And so I am now working with Nozbe: a worship with three baptisms is now for me four projects, held together by the label that bears the name of the Sunday. So I have a maximum of transparency and at the same time a maximum of order.

From experience, I know it’s better to have more projects. # 10stepsbook