"Master Your Now" (MYN), also known as "The One Minute To-do List", is a simple method of managing your tasks that solves the problem of too many things on your list. It involves taking your tasks and emails and turning them into an actionable to-do list. Based on the best-selling book "Total Workday Control" and book "The One Minute To-Do List" by Michael Linenberger, you can use MYN on its own or with GTD.
Organize your tasks in one minute with our MYN Time Management Infographic! Quickly learn how to automate your email inbox, set up Toodledo to work with "Master Your Now", and create your MYN To-Do List.
The unmanaged email inbox can become a place of clutter and dread, and most email systems do little to help clean things up. Linenberger recommends automating your email so that each email that needs further action, and that can't be done now, can be quickly converted to an actionable task. The benefit of this is that you will spend only a couple of minutes managing your inbox instead of hours trying to deal with your emails as if they are tasks. When it comes to email integration, it's Toodledo to the rescue.
In this step you will be given a secret email address that you will use to communicate with Toodledo. Anyone who knows it will be able to add tasks to your list, so keep it a secret. You can change the secret email address whenever you want, and we encourage you to do so from time to time.
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to make sure nothing gets sent to your spam folder. (Don't worry - we won't send you any junk)
Now you can convert emails into tasks. Start by sorting through your Processed Mail folder, forwarding each email to Toodledo until your inbox is clean and empty.
Once your emails have been turned into tasks you can keep them safely filed away in a folder, label or section called "Processed Mail".
If you plan on using Toodledo for MYN you are in luck as we have simplified this process down to a single click! This will set up your workspace with the fields needed for MYN. You'll get access to priority, start and due date, and repeat. It will also set up defaults so that your new tasks start today and have a priority of medium as per Linenberger's recommendation. Filters will be automatically set up to hide tasks that belong on your "Over the Horizon" list (we'll explain all that in the next section).
Go to http://www.toodledo.com/systems.php > Check "Apply these settings" and click "Save Changes"
MYN and the "One Minute To-Do List" segment your tasks into three urgency zones: Critical Now, Opportunity Now, and Over the Horizon.
"By sorting tasks this way, and then managing each urgency zone with an appropriate level of focus, you can prevent the classic "everything is on fire" mentality which so often dominates the workday."
The most important field you will use with MYN is the priority field. This will allow you to sort your tasks into the three urgency zones, with Critical Now items at a high priority, Opportunity Now at medium priority, and low priority for Over the Horizon. Due dates can be used when needed, but Linenberger recommends avoiding "false due dates".
Using Start-Dates is the key to managing your workday. All tasks get a start date in MYN, usually today, so that you can track how old they are. However, sometimes you need to record a task, but not worry about it until the future. Adding a future start-date allows you to schedule the task, yet hide it from your task list until it become relevant or due. Linenberger refers to this as "Defer-To-Do". Defer-To-Do should be designated for tasks that you intend to do on or near the future start date.
This becomes particularly important for managing your Opportunity Now tasks. For example, if you have a task that you would like to start working on in three days, but has no specific due date, you can set the start-date to three days and give it a medium priority. With Toodledo's "Hide Future Tasks" filter enabled, this task will be hidden until the start date arrives.
*Toodledo Tip: Try not to "defer-to-do" everything. If you just want to postpone or put off a task to review it later just change the priority to low, and then review those tasks once a week.
This also works when making deadlines. For example, if you have a task that is absolutely due next Wednesday, and you don't want to be reminded of it until that day, add a start date of next Wednesday, then give it a high priority. This task will then appear in your High Priority task section when its due date arrives. Or if the task is absolutely due Wednesday, but you want to work on it Monday two days before that, set the start date to Monday and the due date to Wednesday.There are many different ways you can use start and date dates to organize and manage your tasks.
*Toodledo Tip: Linenberger advises against using "False Due Dates". In other words, only set a due date for a task if it is actually scheduled for that day. For tasks that are flexible give it a start date instead of a due date.
Managing your Workday Mastery To-do List is crucial to staying on track. Review your Critical Now tasks once an hour and do them as soon as you can. Review your Opportunity Now tasks once a day and move anything that becomes more urgent into the Critical Now zone. Over the Horizon tasks should be reviewed once a week, moving any tasks that have become possible into the Opportunity Now or Critical Now zones. To refresh old tasks, go to your "Opportunity Now" list and set newer start dates on tasks that need more attention, forcing them to the top of the list.
"With that simple attention, this system will keep your urgent work well under control and allow you to get all your important work done."