I’ve always been a fan of the todo list. I’ve kept one, in some form, since I started work in 1986. A lot has changed over the years, but the core of it – write down my tasks as I think of them, cross them off when they’re done – is the same as it’s always been.
Two big changes have happened in that time — ubiquitous computing and the internet. First my tasks moved from paper to digital, then later they moved to ‘the cloud’ and were available on all my devices. Handy, but how do I ever get some peace now that everything is asking to be done whenever (and wherever) I pick up a device?
My top 3 hacks for managing my time:
- capture everything and prioritise regularly: if the task at the top can wait until tomorrow, you can go ahead and watch that Nicolas Cage marathon this afternoon
- make your task list reflect YOUR priorities: my task list reflects the priority of tasks against all my other tasks; it doesn’t go up the list because it’s important to you, it goes up only if it’s more important than all my other tasks. A game-changer.
- give all tasks a proper title: you’ll thank yourself in two weeks when ‘respond to that client email about priorities’ comes back to the top of the list (something like, “Let Dave J know when we can ship the changes to the CRM module” is tons better)
I’m going to dig into each of these in separate posts as a single bullet doesn’t do them justice. What’s your favourite todo list hack?