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Make next action (not to do) lists

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My thought for the week of 1/19
I have been adapting to my new file system and enjoy it. I have a Excel calendar where one page is an event table table which lists daily events by date, time, event, and notes; and, another page is a day planner in 15 minute intervals which lists the events from the event table and leaves a blank space where nothing is on the event calendar for that time span. A reminder of the events scheduled in the next two days is also on this page, as well as three action lists (I prefer to break up my goals in to actions and create an separate agenda folder for tasks that require multiple actions to tract the progress being made).

An agenda folder is not created for tasks that require a single action. Tasks that take only a couple of minutes (or matter of seconds), such as sorting and filing the days mail, are done immediately. If one can't get into the habit of putting things away as they bring them into the house or finish using them, he or she should create a dump zones where every thing of a certain category but not in its place gets put. That way it the item can't be found in its place one can look in its allotted dump zone and not all over the house. Any way a lot of future time can be saved by putting things away immediately, and the same time savings comes from doing any two minute task as it occurs to you (if its not too inconvenient), than waiting for a later time. Tasks to do later are put in action lists.

Actions are listed in the following categories: At the Computer, At Home, and Errands. They each take up specific one contiguous time span that generally takes more than a couple of minutes. More action lists for at work or calls to be made can also be created but the above three suit me.

To do items that require multiple actions should be put into a project or agenda folder where you can collect reference material, plans, data etc. to be considered in a brainstorming session. The next action to be done on a project even if it is just to seek the advice of someone, if not done immediately, should be put onto an next action list.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have an old Dayrunner that I have been using for 25 years. They still sell the paper calendars for it. On each daily page I'll write appointments, of course, but also reminders to install the new CO detectors or bring cat food cans up from the basement, or write up the minutes from the last condo board meeting. If I don't write down that string of silly little things that have to be done,I'll forget, and I'll forget in an instant. It's like that grocery list: I used to think I would see something in the store and be reminded that I need it. I don't , my eyes go right over it. Gotta have a list and gotta write it all down as soon as I think of it.
    1523 days ago
    1523 days ago
    i also make a lot of goals and dont start severarl of them. this weekend i made myself break up a job to several tasks and finished several tasks, not the whole jobs but i have several things done so the full job is seems very easy to finish now.
    1523 days ago
    1524 days ago
    Celiaminer your right about getting distracted like that. I mean that when you decide to do an action, you do it. Then you can take up another action. Thanks for your comment.
    1524 days ago
    I like the idea of "do it now" just to get it done, but I'm reminded of the jokes about setting out to do one thing and falling into a train of distractions, such as, I take the mail into the kitchen to sort, notice the glasses I have been looking for, discover they are dirty so I go upstairs to the linen closet for the lens cleaner, realize I must reorganize the linen closet, pull out the cleaning supplies to reorganize and figure I may as well clean the toilet....
    1524 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Good counsel.
    1524 days ago
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