Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rebecca, Day 52 (catching up!)

52: Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day. Set just 3 very important things you want to accomplish each day. Don’t start with a long list of things you probably won’t get done by the end of the day. A simple list of 3 things, ones that would make you feel like you accomplished something.
I am a big fan of to-do lists. I've always got a running list of tasks I need to accomplish. For about a year, I used a GTD Moleskine Hack and liked it; then, when I found myself the owner of an iPhone (thanks, honey!) and therefore an always-connected calendar app, carrying a Moleskine somehow became less appealing. And I switched to a single sheet of paper, labeled TO DO, that I'd hang onto for a week (or more, or less) at a time.

One of the advantages of the Moleskine hack was its organization. On my single sheet of paper, I tried to maintain similar categories, and I'd list tasks in different categories ("phone calls," "emails to send," "errands," etc.). It functioned, but inelegantly.

Last week, I tried the "MITs" system described above, writing at the start of the week a to-do list organized by day. Dividing the tasks I had to do according to day helped me ensure time-sensitive items got done earlier in the week. In a couple of important cases, I subdivided by time of day (e.g., "Wed. a.m." vs. "Wed p.m."), according to timing needs.

Verdict: This worked well! I could maintain my routine of jotting down everything I wanted to do in a week, but essentially saved time on a daily basis by having my main priorities for each specific day listed. No thinking "Hm, what should I do next?" -- just "Ah, okay, I'll do that next."

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