February 19, 2016
February 19, 2016
My TODO list used to be horrible. I had it for tracking all important future tasks. But instead of helping me with the job it became a source of stress. That was until I found the cause, until I cracked it for me. It may work for you to.
At the beginning I had only one list where I put everything crucial that came to my mind. This way I fixed a problem with forgetting urgent stuff and I could offload it from my brain. Writing tasks down, of course, was not automagically solving them, right? The list started to grow and I was not moving forward.
Next step was putting reminders on them. Assigning due dates was a sort of prioritisation and an effort to focus on the most important ones. It was good at the beginning, but I ended up with a lot of “snoozed” reminders. It happened very often that reminders were popping up during other activities. I would move them to later point in time. Often I started my day looking at Reminders App full of red late items, on top of the green ones, scheduled for current day. That was really stressful. Many times there was too much work and I couldn’t finish my day with an empty list, with a feeling of success. Another problem is that when you have to choose tasks, as you know that you can’t finish everything, you may skip the hard ones… Argh, that wedding preparation stuff, I’m thinking about it right now…
The story has a happy ending though. I finally cracked it, the solution how to GetThingsDone™, a method I want to share with you.
My method contains of a backlog list, it’s still important for me that I don’t have to remember all stuff, computers are much better with that anyway. I take tasks from backlog and I put them into a calendar app — this is the key! One app where I can see all the events for my day.
For every entry I have to pick a starting time and duration. This fixes the problem of my horribly overloaded days that I had in the past. I can now see that there is no more space in a day, period. This way I don’t fool myself that I can stretch time ;) This makes me much more relaxed and focused. I know that right now I have time to write this blog post and I don’t have to think about preparing a podcast, which is planned for later this day.
There is, as well, a secret bonus of this method. It will help you with the hard or boring tasks we were talking about before. You already scheduled them for the current day and when the time comes you won’t have an “option” of picking nicer one instead. There will be no: “Am I really feeling like doing it now?” question. You’ve decided it in the past. The “past-you” knew that you have to do it, and the “future-you” will thank you for that.
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