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Fill AND clear your tasklist

Time management activities - Acting on tasklist - Fixing dates in your weekly planner - How to organize files

Using a tasklist first is to capture and collect tasks by writing down, what remains after wisely having said no, having delegated responsibly or what didn’t vanish otherwise.

Filling and clearing your list of tasks, in a new concept of managing time without any order, is separate from an alternative way of prioritizing, the most important time management activity. It will be covered within a separate page.

It is mere collecting of tasks you should perform or work on, without any order and unprocessed. It is raw material to be worked on.

What is the difference between a task and a to do?

The difference in this discussion is insignificant. For the single thing to do I normally will use the term task. When tasks already are collected within a list, then I mostly will use to do list, sometimes tasklist.Therefore, don’t worry about any speciality in meaning.

Time management activity is preparing for the work to accomplish, it is not the process itself.

Simply said, tasks are the things you have decided to do

They preferably should guide us towards our goals.

These are the minimum required notes you should make. Tasks you didn’t note in stress situations you will probably overlook and forget, and some consequences thereof later need much more time to correct.

In practical work you will not have much time to decide, whether to say no, delegate or something else. Acting is necessary and wrong or not so appropriate decisions will cancel out soon, you will discard them from your tasklist or later say no or delegate if still possible.

You never get to the end of your work

Are you caught by the obsession to get ready? That you will come to end with your work? The earliest possible date is maybe some weeks before retirement. If you are employed, there will be a constant flow of tasks - new ones steadily replacing finshed ones.

No limitations

The way I use a tasklist, doesn't impose any restrictions, like limiting to one day or week, the force to work it within one day or something else.Life flows and doesn’t jump from one day to the other. What you accomplish today is done, what not must be done later. Naturally, you have to judge very carefully, what to do today.

However, nobody knows in the morning, what should be done noon?If your tasklist in the evening is longer than in the morning, don’t become panic, if you have done what has to be done today.

The other day some tasks may have vanished or being less important. You should focus on your work for your goal instead of concentrating on the demands of the tasklist or list concept.

A tasklist will always be an open list, if you stay goal oriented. Closing a list too strictly enchain you to serving a concept.Why impose another limitation in your life, time spans are limited in themselves.

In an upcoming e-book I will describe this philosophy in more detail and deeper background.

Time and tasks

Making a plan by defining the time needed for each task often leads to chaos. Do you want to be an expert in estimating the duration of hundreds of different tasks or do you want to perform your work?

I made the experience, that many people not following a specific time management concept can quickly activate their experience and knowledge potential deciding what to do next and acting without prior time need estimation.

Struggling with a composition of different task durations they feel as a severe time waster. This doesn’t apply to strict planning of projects – here it is vital to plan tasks and time need.

The rock – pebble - sand review

Do you know the Rock-Pepple-Sand allegory?

If you take a pickle jar as an allegory for the time in a day or even your whole life, then you have some choices to fill the jar. Only the sequence first rocks – pepples – sand allows to fill in a maximum. If you start with sand and pebbles you will have no room left for the rocks.

When rocks represent big tasks, pebbles less important tasks and sand the least important tasks, you may fill your working day with a maximum of more or less important tasks.

That remains true only in linear time management concepts.

What if rocks crumble to sand and grains of sand belly out to pebbles and rocks during your day?

We are thinking too linear – the whole planning in vane. That’s reality in dynamic business.Keeping in mind, that rocks may crumble and so on, allow to consider the limits when applying the rock-pebble-sand planning.

Carry over written tasks

Sometimes it is impossible to finish tasks, and you have some to move from one day or week to another.

Terrible? Relax, as long as it lies within a reasonable magnitude, do it, it will be increasingly annoying and forces you to omit or do it. Yes it takes time, but don’t forget you are a human being. After all it carries the possibility of self liquidation of a task.

Carrying over or transcribing with electronic tools is great. You drag and drop within one second, and it´s done. With a paper to do list you have to write again, that´s not so nice.

The drawback af the electronic solution is its tempting ease of use, that seduces to - and supports procrastination.

Being forced to rewrite or transcribe is onerous and imposes some pressure to process a task earlier. However, it´s up to you, how you deal with.

Carrying over by hand also has some clearing effect: you are clearing tasks out, get a new view on your work, subsequently recognize you can delegate a task or even avoid processing it by saying no, and you are producing another recommencement.

For those who love to analyse their work, transcribing reveals how often you transcribe and how long you push a task in front of you. Therefore, you have a means to measure procrastination if you want. (dragging and dropping cuts that information).

Interesting discussion about tasks.

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