brainstorm all your "to do" items in a written list. basically, this is a brain dump to clear your mind and be able to focus.
then put different activities on the Capture List in different categories. tony recommended 8 or fewer categories although as an expert in time management he used around 15 categories personally. he compared each category to a draw in a dresser.... each activity has its own "drawer" which is a category with a purpose in your life.
Name Each Category
he said don't use uninspiring names like "physical", "emotional", "financial", "family" etc. use exciting category titles that have a purpose embedded in the name. someone investing in stocks could say "treasure hunter" instead of the boring "financial." instead of "physical" for fitness goals say "adonis" or whatever gets you to focus...... (he also advised calling the physical category "sex god" and I don't think he was really joking either.) the point is that the categories should have excitement behind the name.
Time Block the Category Activities
after grouping the Capture List items into your 8 exciting categories, then schedule them in your weekly/monthly planner in category groups. try to plan related activities in the same category in the same time block. then your actions have more purpose, flow and continuity.
here's where I had problems with this advice..... I never found any motivating category names. I actually prefer the simple category names. for example, I tried out "zen oasis" for the "home" category..... but it didn't motivated me any more than a simple "home" name. maybe I'm already too zen to care about fancy names? lol
I see his point about the momentum of exciting categories, but it didn't work for me. should I keep trying to brainstorm better category names? keep the simple category names instead? what are your thoughts on this planning method?