Daily Productive Sharing 081 - Todoist 创始人的秘籍

One helpful tip per day:)

(The English version follows)

Todoist 是一款大家所熟知的效率管理工具,今天的访谈是由它的创始人 Amir Salihefendić 带来的。在这篇访谈中,他介绍了自己管理时间,管理公司的方法,以及 Doist 作为一个远程公司是如何运作的。

  • 从一开始,Doist 就是完全靠自己的营收存活下来的,而且 Doist 把自己定位成一家远程公司;

  • 正因为把自己定位为一家远程公司,所以公司内的协同都默认为不同步的,各人自己安排工作时间和进度,各自对任务负责,这也给了大家极大的信任;

  • Amir 从一开始就是重度的 Todoist 用户,十几年下来,完成了近六万个任务,平均下来每天十三个;

  • Amir 每天力争把 Todoist 里安排的任务和邮箱里的邮件都清空,如果实在无法清空,就顺延到后面;

Creative work means being all alone in your room. Creating organizations means being in every room, all at once. It’s hard.

But after talking to Amir I realized that in the age of remote work, it’s actually possible. You can be alone in your room, and also in every room at the same time as long as you set things up properly. It takes some sacrifices, but if creative work is important to you it’s doable.

I’m a very big user of todo lists. I’ve used Todoist every day since I started building it, and I’m at about 60,000 tasks completed. I have everything inside of my Todoist: life stuff, work stuff, everything. I’ve used it probably every day since 2007.

I spend a lot of my week reading through stuff — articles, newsletters, books, even videos. Everything that I’m going to read starts out as a todo in my Learning project. I schedule it for a particular day, and I check it off when I’m done.

I do this because a big portion of Doist culture is centered around growth. We are very focused on it. The best way to grow is to learn — and so if I wasn’t learning constantly I wouldn’t be part of the culture we have here. A big chunk of what I do is trying to learn as much as possible.

So everyday I try to hit todo list zero and inbox zero and when I’m at both of those places that’s how I know I’m done for the day. If I don’t do it then it makes me feel guilty and it’s hard to relax.

Of course, I don’t complete everything on my todo list every day or respond to every email in my inbox every day. Sometimes I’m just postponing stuff that I didn’t get to.

Because we’re remote first and international, the way we communicate is very different. The whole company runs asynchronously — so there’s no expectation that you’ll get an immediate response to a question.

There’s no meeting culture inside the company. We don’t say, “Let’s have a meeting to discuss this.” Sometimes it happens of course, but it’s usually when we really disagree strongly about something. In that case a meeting helps. But otherwise, it usually doesn’t happen.

The advantage of this style of asynchronous communication is that it allows us to disconnect when we want to. Being able to disconnect allows you to manage your stress levels and your energy levels, which is very important especially for me. For instance, I can go and spend two hours with my kids in the middle of the day without feeling the urge to go and check Twist or emails because I know it can wait.

Inside of Doist we work in cycles — which are like month-long work sprints where we’re working on a single project. Each project gets assigned a channel, and all of the relevant team members are added to that channel for the length of the project.

We have very few private channels, which means that at Doist all of our information is default public. That makes it easy to see what other people are working on, and it allows employees to have input into parts of the company that they might not otherwise get to see. It’s a very democratic process of suggesting and building ideas.

For me, it’s actually very important not to be stressed and to be reflective. This means I need to have space, because that’s the only way to make decisions.

The CEO with an Empty Calendar

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Todoist is a well-known efficiency management tool, and today's interview is brought to you by its founder, Amir Salihefendić. In this interview, he explains his approach to managing his time, his company, and how Doist works as a remote company.

  • From the beginning, Doist survived entirely on its own revenue, and Doist positioned itself as a remote company.

  • As positioning themselves as a remote company, collaboration within the company is by default unsynchronized, with each person scheduling their own work and schedule, and each being responsible for their own tasks, which gives everyone a great deal of trust.

  • Amir has been a heavy Todoist user from the beginning, completing nearly 60,000 tasks over more than a decade, averaging thirteen per day.

  • Amir strives to clear the tasks in Todoist and emails every day, or postpone them if it is impossible.

Creative work means being all alone in your room. Creating organizations means being in every room, all at once. It’s hard.

But after talking to Amir I realized that in the age of remote work, it’s actually possible. You can be alone in your room, and also in every room at the same time as long as you set things up properly. It takes some sacrifices, but if creative work is important to you it’s doable.

I’m a very big user of todo lists. I’ve used Todoist every day since I started building it, and I’m at about 60,000 tasks completed. I have everything inside of my Todoist: life stuff, work stuff, everything. I’ve used it probably every day since 2007.

I spend a lot of my week reading through stuff — articles, newsletters, books, even videos. Everything that I’m going to read starts out as a todo in my Learning project. I schedule it for a particular day, and I check it off when I’m done.

I do this because a big portion of Doist culture is centered around growth. We are very focused on it. The best way to grow is to learn — and so if I wasn’t learning constantly I wouldn’t be part of the culture we have here. A big chunk of what I do is trying to learn as much as possible.

So everyday I try to hit todo list zero and inbox zero and when I’m at both of those places that’s how I know I’m done for the day. If I don’t do it then it makes me feel guilty and it’s hard to relax.

Of course, I don’t complete everything on my todo list every day or respond to every email in my inbox every day. Sometimes I’m just postponing stuff that I didn’t get to.

Because we’re remote first and international, the way we communicate is very different. The whole company runs asynchronously — so there’s no expectation that you’ll get an immediate response to a question.

There’s no meeting culture inside the company. We don’t say, “Let’s have a meeting to discuss this.” Sometimes it happens of course, but it’s usually when we really disagree strongly about something. In that case a meeting helps. But otherwise, it usually doesn’t happen.

The advantage of this style of asynchronous communication is that it allows us to disconnect when we want to. Being able to disconnect allows you to manage your stress levels and your energy levels, which is very important especially for me. For instance, I can go and spend two hours with my kids in the middle of the day without feeling the urge to go and check Twist or emails because I know it can wait.

Inside of Doist we work in cycles — which are like month-long work sprints where we’re working on a single project. Each project gets assigned a channel, and all of the relevant team members are added to that channel for the length of the project.

We have very few private channels, which means that at Doist all of our information is default public. That makes it easy to see what other people are working on, and it allows employees to have input into parts of the company that they might not otherwise get to see. It’s a very democratic process of suggesting and building ideas.

For me, it’s actually very important not to be stressed and to be reflective. This means I need to have space, because that’s the only way to make decisions.

The CEO with an Empty Calendar

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