I started a new job in August and am using the following method to get things done. Each day I create a new text file on my computer with the following template:
1 Jan 2014 ========== Goals ----- * None Completed Tasks --------------- * None Todo ---- * None Websites -------- * None
Every morning I copy yesterday’s
todo items to today’s
goals. Throughout the day I update the
completed section and add tasks to the
todo section. At the end of the day I update the
todo section with all the items I haven’t completed.
I find that this has the following advantages over (a) doing nothing or (b) a paper todo list.
- It helps me get into context of what I was working on the previous day and reminds me of what I need to do that day.
- I now have a searchable log of everything I’ve done, problems I encountered, and solutions I’ve developed should I need to reference or lookup something in the future.
- Since it’s electronic, it’s a lot easier to reorganize priorities than on a paper list.
- I can safely prune it without loss of information or history since I have a separate file for each day. This lowers the mental block of removing items that I have not completed.
I thought the idea of
.plan files were fascinating: to have an (almost) daily archive of accomplishments. And Randy Pausch’s talk really showed me how to accomplish goals using a well prioritized list. My system does not really follow the important/urgent quadrants that Pausch’s talk recommends but I don’t hesitate to reorganize, put off, or remove
todo items when I realize they’re not actually important.
This year I’m also trying out a new system to accomplish long-term goals by creating a kanban board of
in progress, and
completed using trello. Next year I’ll post about how successful I am due to these systems.