Borys Bradel's Blog

Usage of TODO lists

Tags: blogs, time management, business May 26, 2008    

Actually, I ran across three interesting blog posts all at once at the Management Craft blog. The one I already mentioned previously is on decisions, the one I will write about in this post is on TODO lists, and the third I'll get to later.

The post is called Psychic To-Do List. The basic premise is that there are things that people want to do that they don't write down and that worrying about them wastes a lot of energy. Therefore the items on such lists should be tackled.

I think that these tasks should definitely be either tackled or written down and left for later. My personal experience is that when I write the tasks down my TODO list blows up to several hundred entries. Figuring out how to deal with all the tasks would be nice, although what happens is that I don't have time for the tasks and they just become forgotten. The upside is that at least they no longer waste energy.

That brings me to another point regarding TODO lists. Usually items on them are based on importance and urgency. Usually only the important tasks should be done regardless of urgency, and the tasks that are not important should not be done. That is easier said than done. The best tactic is probably to set aside time to do important tasks that are not urgent. That way these tasks get done no matter what.

For me these tasks would include exercise, reading, writing, and working on interesting technical projects. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to perform all of them. The worst is the last because focusing on technical matters requires very big chunks of continuous time, and outside of work, chunks like that are hard to find. That translates into tasks taking much longer than they should. Something is better than nothing though.

Copyright © 2008 Borys Bradel. All rights reserved. This post is only my possibly incorrect opinion.

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