The main problem is using google calendar and email as a task management system.


  1. Clear priorities

  2. Un-encumbering task list

  3. Zero data loss of written tasks.

  4. Single place where all tasks are stored

  5. Calendar is for scheduling events only.

  6. Email is for communication only

Given this example email processing workflow:

What this is immediately showing is that hyper-task management is not the same as productivity. What the real problem is is you let yourself become task saturated. You know what works the best. Full elimination of everything that does not address the immediate, most important, and life changing goal. Creating, organizing and giving away businesses.

Now how does task warrior help you do that?

Task warrior provides a faster mechanims for writing notes. task add "read innovators dilemma"


create draft in google mail web app, go to body, write "read innovators dilemma",

create event in google calendar (pick an appropriate day based on arbitrary rules) add "read innovators dilemma" as the title, click save

The lesson here is that it's really about the workflow first, then tool selection. You thought taskwarrior would fix the problems. What it does is help you elucidate what the problem is.

You don't want to get things done. You don't want to write down, classify and then track as much work as possible. You want to eliminate as much work as possible in order to focus on what you are here for.

For example: Phone call, sharing ideas, written on piece of paper. Come back next day, write them out as separate tasks like: task add "find anne mcgraf book" task add "research kellogg innovation forum"

That is just the 'storage' component of this procedure. The second level procedure is you need a task management workflow, just like you have for email.

Start the day knowing what the single most important thing to work on is. Make sure your thought patterns are focused on the first most important thing to work on. This does not require task warrior. This should explicitly exclude all task management software. This is the next, key activity required to train in, to practice, to transform into.

Maybe it's business model canvas generation. Maybe it's spiritual development. Maybe it's learning a web framework. Whatever it is, do it and stay focused.

If during this process you have an idea to capture, issue the command:

task add "new activity to add"

As the day progresses and energy wanes, begin the integration of task warrior.

The main focus is the same, but you add in 5 minute intervals of other tasks in order to facilitate focus. This is the push through the most difficult mental times in order to achieve the long term goals.

If your task warrior list looks like this:

ID Age  Project    Description                                                    Urg
 2 7d   stage_four Value proposition immersion                                    1.04
 1 7d              document structure customer discovery                          0.04
 3 6d              django tutorial continue                                       0.03
 4 4d              switch to sup insteads of mutt - use erp account for testing   0.02
 5 1h              find bmc discussion groups                                        0
 6 7min            encrypt backup disk                                               0
 7 7min            zenbook backup to backup disk                                     0
 8 7min            tapemonster backup to backup disk                                 0
 9 7min            zenbook, w541 and tapemonster txt fiels to an sd card and a       0
                   usb disk, encrypted

Set the initial item as active:

task 2 start

Then set the timer on the watch (not the phone!), for every 5 minutes. After the timer is up, switch to the next item on the task list, but leave the primary (task 2) as active. Reset the timer. After another five minutes, go back to the primary. Continue this cycle so the primary task is executed at 50% duty cycle.

This provides an effective balance between long term goal work and lower level work. Both are important, but this ensures there is less liklihood of task saturation, and the fatigue is counteracted by the newness and shortness of other tasks.