an overhead shot of someone at a table typing into a laptop with one hand. The other hand is holding chopsticks dipped into a bowl of noodle which is alongside the laptop.

How to Feed Commitments into your Productivity System


This post was written before I fully understood landscape of neurodiversity.

My earlier posts on a productivity system are still relevant. The system works well for autistics and for people with ADHD who need a structure.

When you first set up a personal productivity system, you’ll have to put the three main elements of the system in place. Hopefully, you’ve also put the next few weeks of appointments in your calendar and gathered your current list of tasks.

That’s substantial progress. Next, we need to look at how to add commitments to your system so that it works for you. In other words, how to keep it up to date.

What is a Commitment?

In personal productivity, a commitment is something that you have agreed to do. You can make the commitment to yourself or to someone else.

A commitment to do a task for your boss is called work. A commitment to go to the park with the family is part of your life. You will also have things that you’d like to do for yourself like a hobby, that’s also a commitment in this context.

A commitment is something that always takes some of your time. It may take resources too, like money or energy.

Capture Your Commitments

When you agree to do something at a specific time e.g., a meeting, or going out for a meal, then this goes in your calendar.

Every time you commit to doing something you will add it to your calendar or your task list.

It is best if you can put it straight into your calendar or task list as you make the commitment. The fallback is to write it down and move it into your system later. Ideally have a consistent way of taking note of your commitments to organise later e.g., a small notebook or a note-taking app.

The Power of Consistency

Capturing your commitments with enough detail is the single most powerful thing you can do in your personal productivity system.

If you know what you are committed to doing, then you can manage your commitments effectively. You will be able to choose what you do, and when.

As you get more practised at this you will find life getting easier. It is a step on the path to stress-free success.


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