Why I Use Tags for Repeating Tasks Instead of Movable Tasks | Giftie Etcetera: Why I Use Tags for Repeating Tasks Instead of Movable Tasks

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why I Use Tags for Repeating Tasks Instead of Movable Tasks

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When I last posted about Using Tabs for Tasks, I got a lot of feedback from people who said that they are successfully using tabs for tasks that they might want to put off.

I understood their position, and if something is working for someone, I never recommend changing it. Do what works for you!

But I wanted to explain why I use post-it flags as tabs for repeating tasks instead of movable tasks, since there is a good reason for my choice that might help others.

planner, tasks, to do list

First, I need to define repeating tasks and movable tasks.

Repeating tasks are those tasks that happen again and again. Under my criteria, they are also tasks that I actually tend to get to in a timely manner.

That last sentence is important. If I tend to not do something, I do NOT make a tag for it, even if it is something that I need to do weekly or monthly or every 10 days. Keep reading to find out why!

Movable tasks are tasks that may be rescheduled pretty easily, depending what comes up. I sometimes refer to these as "want to do" tasks or, in limited cases, "should do" tasks.

The thing about movable tasks is that I don't want to make them too easy to move, or I would never get them done.

Instead, if a movable task is on my calendar and I am not going to get to it today, I need to make a decision: delete it, delegate it, or defer it. If I defer it, I want to make myself aware that I still need to do it (or make a new decision). So I recopy it as a psychological "punishment." Recopy once or twice? No biggie. But by the third time I recopy it, I am probably saying, "self, perhaps this task is worth deleting." See how that works?

I need that feedback for things that I "have to do" or "should do," too, so I rewrite those instead of using a tag, even if they are repeating tasks.

Also, if a task is done rarely or just once, why would I waste all that space that a tab takes up just to avoid rewriting a couple of times?

Given those definitions, what constitutes a repeating tasks worthy of a tab?

Well, I'll share my list of repeating tasks along with the explanations.

Work - I work 15 hours a week, but I schedule it. The work tag goes on the next day that work is not scheduled, so that I know to schedule work hours. For example, I've scheduled work through next Friday (the end of the pay period), so I can move that task to the next Monday. It repeats erratically, but reliably.

Blog - I try to blog daily. (Obviously, I don't always succeed.) However, I often do two or three blogs at once and just schedule them. So on any given day, I might not need to write a blog for three more days. If so, I put the tab on that third day.

School Website - Teachers update my kids' school website, called Edline, on Mondays.

Dailies - Everyday, I strive to get through my daily checklist. This reminder, moving from day to day, is just a heads' up to mark what I actually accomplished on the checklist.

Monthly Self Exams - Ladies and gentleman, you should all be doing these!

Budget - My receipts are supposed to get processed at least weekly, but the day that I process them varies. Having a budget tag lets me move it forward a week once it gets done.

Grocery - Grocery shopping prep happens every eight to ten days, depending if eight days falls on a weekend. I do not grocery shop on weekends!

Trash - Trash goes to the curb every Tuesday.

Lawn Care - Lawn guy visits every ten days, except more like two weeks to two months in the non-growing season. This allows me to always put out a check before he arrives.

Allowance - I mark allowance day with a tab (once a week).

TIP: Make a tab for monthly and weekly planner reviews!

I hope this gave you some great ideas. Let me know what you use tabs for.


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