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Old June 4, 2017, 07:20 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is offline
Onwards and upwards!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,357
Default Here's how I deal with my "To Do" list now...

Originally Posted by unpinkpanther View Post
Thanks Dien for sharing this.

Another way to look at this is changing the label from "Manager-time" to "Systems-time"

For some lone-wolf operators (like me), the word "Manager" brings up nightmarish visions of a past worker-bee existence which I'll love to forget.
Hi UnPink,

Thanks for the tip!

By the way, here's another problem I've had in the past with "To Do" lists...

The problem is they grow... and grow... and grow!

Pretty soon, you have a huge list you can never achieve...

A big difficulty is, with such a long list, you feel overwhelmed! You feel that whatever you do, you are barely putting a "dent" in your huge "To Do" list!

Here's what I do now, which helps with this problem...

I keep my "To Do" list on Simplenote - this means I can read and edit it either on my computer, or on my smartphone... It automatically "syncs" between the website and any of my devices I have it installed on.

It is just a simple text editor, with nothing fancy.

I keep my "To Do" list on there, with the date written at the top...

My list still gets long. But I do two things to deal with that problem...

1. I have a separate section at the top, with no more than 7 "To Do" items on it. I never let it get more than 7 items. Those are the items I am focusing on now.

2. The second section below that (which is separated by a line with 5 dashes "-----") are all the other "To Do" items. I never look at these, unless I want to add more items to the list of 7 items at the top.

3. At the bottom, I have a last section (also separated by a line with 5 dashes). This is the "Done" section. Whenever I finish a task, I move it down to this section...

Here's how it works.

If I want to add a new task to the top section (things I am focusing on now), but it already has 7 items, then I move one item from there to the second section. This way, the top section never has more than 7 items.

Why 7 items? I chose 7 because each person can only keep around 7 items in their brain (so I read somewhere). You can have fewer there if you prefer, but I would recommend no more than 7 items. That way, you don't feel too "overwhelmed"...

I can also add new items to the middle section. These are "non-urgent" items that I don't need to do now, but which I don't want to forget.

When you finish doing something, you cut and paste that item to the 3rd section, the "Done" section. That way, you also have a record of what you've accomplished.

(Sometimes I wonder what I've done with my time... A quick look at the "Done" section helps me to remember, which can also help motivate you!)

Each day, I start a new file (with the new date). I copy the old "To Do" list to the new file. Then, I go to the bottom and delete all the "Done" stuff (so it's empty). You still have a copy of all that from yesterday's "To Do" list, in case you ever need to look it up.

I think this method is not perfect, but I've found it helps to solve some of the previous problems I've had with "To Do" lists...

Everyone is different, so what works for me may not work for you. Plus, I'm sure it can be improved!

Now, the thing is, I don't always create a new list every day. It still works if you work for a few days with the same list (the only thing is, the "Done" section gets longer than it otherwise would be). So it is flexible if on any particular day, you are too lazy to start a new list...

Best wishes,

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