So I keep trying all these various systems for tracking and getting things done and I keep falling out of all of them. Here is my latest stab at a system. This one has been working pretty effectively for me for about 3 weeks now.
I’m using Google Tasks after my friend Hauss suggested to me to try GoTask on iOS. I keep two lists in it. The first of which is an obvious one, shopping. Most everyone has made a shopping list so this part isn’t the interesting part. It is my other list, which is titled ‘Today’ that is more interesting. I don’t have any lofty goals, long term todos, anything like that. What I do have is a set of things I can achieve today.
How do I use it? Well I wake up in the morning, get breakfast, browse the web while eating then once I am done I go to my Today list. First thing I do is hit the clear completed button. This leaves me with the todos I didn’t get done the day before. I can quickly reflect on those that are left behind and determine if they were too far reaching for my time, blocked by external factors, or I procrastinated too much.
I then delete any that aren’t relevant anymore, and start tossing in things that I want to get done that day. Often this is a couple of project items for whatever project I find interesting, one or two exercise items, and any chores like laundry or dishes I need to get done.
The nice thing about this is the list is never very big. 20 items I think is the biggest it got so far and most of that was a bunch of small tasks on a project I needed to get done. This lets me rapid scan my list for chores before I leave my house to go hack at a cafe. Also it gives me a quick way to gauge if I am on task and how many tasks I have to go. Finally I get a chance to reflect each morning and get a feel for either how awesome I was the day before, or how much harder I need to work.
I’ll see how well this pans out when I start working again but for now my simple task list has been making my life better. I highly recommend if you have a system you’ve been struggling with, simplify it. If you don’t have a system, this one is pretty easy and low risk, you should try it.