Planner Trick: Quick and Dirty Tasks | Giftie Etcetera: Planner Trick: Quick and Dirty Tasks

Monday, November 17, 2014

Planner Trick: Quick and Dirty Tasks

A planner really helps us with two things - namely, remembering and decision making.

The remembering part is obvious. Of course, some way-smarter-than-I-am people can just remember things. Even if you aren't gifted with a perfect memory, a simple entry on a web calendar, smart phone, or any calendar can help you remember.

Remembering, while useful, isn't WHY I recommend a planner instead of a mere calendar. Decision making is where a planner rocks (or another SYSTEM, but a system is required and I find planners to be the simplest systems to maintain).

The decision making comes at more than one point.

The first decision is made when I write something - anything - in my planner. It must be something worth remembering or doing to make the cut. Next, I decide which part of my planner gets the information. An entry on a monthly calendar is different than a dumping of ideas on a master task list. I make yet another decision when I create my daily page. Finally, I make decisions as I complete my daily page.

In the example above, the task list (the right column) is rather long.

So I developed a trick to decide what gets down when I get overwhelmed.

Before I tell you the trick, note that anything REALLY important is already scheduled or done. So I am talking here about what I do at the second level, once appointments are done (or between appointments), deadlines are met, and anything critically important is dealt with.

The Trick: Put a dot next to anything quick and dirty. Then complete the dots.

Quick = can be done in 5 minutes or less.

Dirty = does not require concentration or great skill.

In today's example, I did the following:

*check turkey - glance in the freezer and make sure I bought a turkey on clearance after Easter for Thanksgiving (1 min.)

*edline - go to school webpage and look at notes from the kids' teachers (2 mins.)

*daily pages - trim and hole-punch daily pages for planner (5 mins.)

* clean yoga mat - threw it in the wash with some towels (2 mins.)

*choir practice - checked email to write down choir practice times on planner (2 mins.)

Check out the difference in tasks remaining after that 12 minute task spree.

Remember, if you are stuck with a long list, go quick and dirty! It's an easy and effective decision.



Unknown said...

Oooo! Great idea and use of time! I like this! said...

I do something like that, too. I put a Q next to the quick tasks and an asterisk next to the more important ones. I like the dots, though - easier than the asterisk.