5 simple steps to structure your emails, tasks and agenda – Step 5: starting the machine

Have you read the introduction, Step 1 , Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4? Then you are a real productivity beast… 💪🤜 If not, read those first and then come back.

Step 5: connecting steps 1-4 and creating a killer productivity machine

So now comes the good part, making the connections and starting the machine that works for you. Yes that’s right: it will work for you, it will be your slave, and you will not be the slave of time anymore. Here is how the machine will look like.


Rules for managing this machine

Every Sunday late afternoon, I spend 30-40min planning the week to come.

  1. I review past week and check what was completed (makes me happy) and what was not. I investigate why certain things were not completed so I can avoid that in future. Either:
    • My week plan was too ambitious (I underestimated the time certain tasks took, which happens regularly)
    • Something unexpected happened which messed up my plan lacking resilience
    • A task became obsolete or less urgent
  2. I transfer the uncompleted but still relevant tasks to my task list (if not there yet)
  3. I delete the tasks I completed (this is a dopamine shock) or update the title of ongoing tasks according to their status
  4. I now plan next week
    • Use time blocks for the tasks that need completion. Yes, some tasks will not be planned in this week.
    • Most urgent tasks come earlier in the week.
    • The hardest and critical tasks come early in the morning. I personally avoid having meetings in the morning, as I am a morning person with peak performance between 5-12.
    • I sometimes make little ‘pretasks’. E.g. in order to start the task on Friday, I have to email someone on Monday.

How to check if your system was set up rightly

After some weeks/months, just think about deleting your whole triangular system. If it feels like your world will collapse, your system is working for you.

You will feel the impact:

  • You will become super proactive
  • You will get much more things done
  • You will forget almost nothing
  • You will have time to think strategically
  • And above all: you will save a HUGE amount of time which, compounding over a lifetime, will simply change your life. (just read the book ‘The Compound Effect’)

Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now. Jay Samit

Have fun, persist and enjoy your free time!

Did you survive all these steps? Now I am extremely curious what your thoughts are. Comment below! 👇👇👇

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