Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Doing what I need to do, every day

A goal I've had numerous times over the last few years is do write up a list of things to do every day. Basically, I figured it would be a good thing to spend some time every morning planning what I needed to do that day. It sounds great, and it worked, kind of. I would frequently write up a daily plan.

However, what good is it, ultimately, to go through your to-do list and choose the items you need to do that day? It's not completely useless, because at least you think about what you need to do. But the bottom line is that you need to actually do the tasks, not just make lists.

So, I've changed my thinking recently. I still try to make a daily to-do list. However, the plan doesn't stop there. I have a little monthly calendar taped to the inside of my Palm cover. If I actually DO those tasks that are on my daily list, then I put a little star on the calendar. It may sound kind of childish, but I really like getting those little stars, and it motivates me to do a couple things:
  • Be reasonable about what I put on my daily list. If I only get a star if I finish what's on my list, then I need to be realistic about what I can accomplish in a day.
  • Actually do the items that are on the daily list! That's the only way to get a star
  • Make my tasks very well defined. So, instead of writing "Organize garage", I'll write something like "Spend max 15 minutes clearing off workbench". I may still have a larger project/task for organizing the garage, but I wouldn't put it on my daily to-do list.
That's the plan in a nutshell. And yes, writing up something in my blog was on my to-do list today! If I finish everything else, I look forward to getting a star.


Blogger Robin Millette said...

I wish my friend Sylvia (beautiful name by the way ;) could read this...

4:23 AM  

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