Saturday, 14 September 2013

The perpetual Todo list

I one of those people that need to write things down. Failing to do so will have them fly out of my head. It will eventually fly back into my head, usually at an inopportune moment, normally right before I need to have the thing done. Of course there are the things that have no time line that I only remember when I don't have time to do them. So they never actually get done.

Enter my perpetual todo list. Most people find a list that never gets finished a bit depressing. I'm finding it quite useful. The perpetual Todo list rides around in my backpack and can be added to the moment that something comes up. Having it all in one place keeps track of every little thing that is going on in every little aspect of my life. What's more, because it travels around with me (opposed to sitting on my fridge) it is constantly being looked at and the things on it will actually get done. When sitting and having lunch at work I'll normally pull it out to see if there are any phone calls or e-mails that need to be done. One task per lunch hour keeps a lot of the little appointment making and getting back to people up to date.

It's also how I look at the list. I never look at it in its entirety. I don't care how long it will take me to do the whole list. Instead I take it item by item, which usually don't take a lot of time by themselves. In fact I'm regularly surprised when the dreaded phone call I have to make to the insurance company only takes 3 min to resolve.

For bigger tasks I break them down. Instead of "Claim XYZ through insurance" it will be, "Assemble insurance paperwork," "Set up insurance account login," "Fill out insurance paperwork," and "Mail insurance paperwork." That way instead of having a task drag on for a week and becoming discouraged because it never seems to go anywhere I can cross something off whenever I make even a little bit of progress which keeps me motivated. And ultimately, things get done.

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