Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Categorizing Task List Items Differently

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One practical application of focusing on the “how” rather than just the “what” is in time management.

Many people make “to do” lists, and the tasks. If items on the list are sorted at all, they are usually grouped by topics.

You might have better luck checking the items off the list by categorizing them differently: when (what day/time you will do them or by their deadlines), how (resources you are going to need, like car for errands or equipment you need to borrow), where (office vs. elsewhere), and who (if interaction is needed, if the tasks are to be assigned to others).

I had a clipboard with all the pieces of paper that were relevant to that week, where the top page was always a colored sheet of paper for task list. In addition to a copy of my 15/5 for the week on one side of the colored sheet, the rest of the page was folded to have several columns and boxes, each with key staff’s name. I would list all the things I needed to assign to them or discuss with them throughout the week, so when it came to a weekly meeting, my thoughts would be organized. Whether the item was positive (reminder to praise someone) or negative (closing the loop on a project gone wrong), I had more room in my head for other things I had to tackle as soon as I jotted them down, and I would act on them within a week.

There may be some app that replaces all that, but there’s nothing like a physical object (clipboard), colored sheet of paper that pops out, and the tactile feedback of putting pen to paper that get my productivity mojo.

Photo: Near Lake Como, Italy

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2015 by in Management, Time Management and tagged , , , .
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