Mandaris Moore


Moving forward has gotten easier and easier to do. I'm definitely on an upswing when it comes to most of my goals for the last couple of months.

What am I attributing this new to this success?

More regular reviews via OmniFocus and a desire to accomplish what I set out to do.

A brief look at what I'm supposed to be doing today.
A brief look at what I'm supposed to be doing today.

For the longest time, I would have OmniFocus on my laptop and and iPhone and just wish that it would organize my life - that everything would just fall into place by some kind of magic. I think this is why productivity software will always be in demand. People want things to happen, but they forget that it's just a tool and if you don't change who you are or your approach to the problem nothing is going to happen.

Reflecting in what needs to change

I realized that I had a problem. I was doing the constant yo-yo of getting organized moving my life forward for a couple weeks and then finding myself overwhelmed again. I feel that it's because I couldn't trust that everything in OmniFocus was something that I should be working on. I would have 20 plus items available for one day and those items would be individual actions or projects.

I would procrastinate and think 'I'll just do this later' because the deadlines and defer dates where just useless pieces of data. Later I would kick myself because I spent hours surfing the internet instead of marking something off.

I needed to become more aware of what I was doing.

Time Budgeting at home

Just like in financial budgeting, I needed to have more of an idea of where my time was going. I started using the app Timing to see how much time I spent goofing off versus actively using my computer1.

A look at computer usage on my laptop for last week.
A look at computer usage on my laptop for last week.

Some of this, I already wrote about in a previous post, but I wanted to re-iterate how this is a continued reminder of how I keep myself on task.

There was a couple pitfalls with the process as my computing life is divided between a MacBook Pro and an iMac, but I'm hoping to clear some of that up with the new timing sync feature that was introduced.

New Screentime for iOS

Screentime on iOS allows me to be mindful on the phone.
Screentime on iOS allows me to be mindful on the phone.

With the new version of iOS, I’m able to get a better idea of what I’m using my phone for on a daily and weekly basis.

Currently, I’m not using the App limits because I’m hoping that being aware of how I use my phone will prompt me to change my habits and increase my will power.

Show a light day of usage via ScreenTime
Show a light day of usage via ScreenTime

It’s definitely a great start to quantifying what areas I want to work on. There is still one more tool.

Streaks

Streaks is an App on iOS that I picked up one day shortly after New Year’s Day. I’ve been using it off and on for making sure that I mediate3 and write in my journal.

It wasn’t until recently that I made reviewing my projects a priority to review in Streaks and I feel that it has really made a difference2. I get two kinds of positive reinforcements when I do this. The first, the fact that I get to mark it off. The second, I get to see evidence of my changing habit as a number.

End result

I feel better about myself as a responsible adult. There is true freedom in knowing what you are and are not doing.

I understand that this is a just a process for me and there is a possibility of me back sliding into bad habits. That is ok, because I know that getting back in the good habits is easier than ever before.


  1. What's the point of spend so much money on something that I only watch videos on? 

  2. Due is another good app for things like this. I use it for reminders to flex my core muscles throughout the day. 

  3. breaking a streak feels soooo bad. 


I'm slowing making progress on my blog. It doesn't look like much because I don't have any css associated with it. I'm ok with it looks a little rough for now because I want to focus on the design for now and I rally don't think I'm going to get a lot of people checking it out between now and whenever...

What I would like do is challenge myself to do more than just play around on my computer. I've been spend more and more time becoming aware of the little clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen that tells me how productive I've been on my Mac.

Image of Timing in Menubar showing that I am 62% productive.
Image of Timing in Menubar showing that I am 62% productive.

Personally, I feel that every little bit counts towards becoming an adult. I can't go back to the days where I only had to worry about homework any more. In fact,I no longer wish for those days because I understand that even then I had some kind of struggle going on. The me now, is a lot more self aware and more confident in who I am.


A while ago I came across some questions to consider everytime that I do a review of my tasks. The problem is that I've attached the questions to a task in OmniFocus and -honestly- I don't think it's helpful to do something like that unless I think and write about it.

  • Is this system trustworthy? If not, why not? Do I need to make better backups?
    No, there are two major problems with the personal productivity. The first is that I don't schedule enough time for something. How can I finish a task when I don't make any time for it. Secondly, I don't do enough positive reviews. I need to do a review every day to make sure that tasks don't fall through the cracks and I don't overwhelm myself. I find most of my reviews are when I'm under the gun. Not a good thing.

  • Is there a next actionable task? Can it actually be readily done?
    Yes... for the most part. I have a couple projects that have items like "Brainstorm next action".

  • When do I anticipate looking at this next action’s context?
    This goes back to the first question.

  • What will this project look like when it is done? Depends on the project, baby.

  • When do I think I’ll need to see this project again?
    That also depends on the project.


So for the last couple of months I've been carrying a large spiral notebook that I got from staples. I had planned on using it to capture ideas and as The One Tool1 that would change all of my disorganization into a simple constantly productive life. As will all my new tools it was great for getting thoughts down and being able to read them over.

The only major problem I had was that I could put it in my pocket and just leave right away, I had to have some kind of bag or give up a free hand in order to carry it.

Another thing is that my daughters see it and think "Hey, it drawing time" and now it's halfway filled with their little snippets of stories and artwork.

Personally, it's made it even easier to keep around.


  1. I'm a recovering productivity porn junky. I think a log of perfectionist/procrastinators are always looking for that one thing that will wip away all her or his problems away. The should all look into Ü. 


What happens if you check your email every 5 minutes
What happens if you check your email every 5 minutes

Wow, I can't believe I spent so much time looking into productivity p0rn! I used to look at 43folders.com almost every other hour looking for that "One secret that would make me productive".

The secret, just do it.