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TODO List

TODO List

In the previous article we learned the full format of a task list and the properties that a task can have. In this article we will learn to manage effectively the tasks list.

PLANNING

When the tasks arise, we annotate and collect them in a global list, named Inbox. To work on a day to day, it is necessary to check the inbox, decide and extract the tasks to be executed today. Here you are some tips to do this with success:

  • Reserve the first 10 or 15 minutes of each day to plan your workday .
  • Create a task list called “TODAY”.
  • Check your calendar and add the scheduled tasks to “TODAY” list.
  • Check the tasks in your inbox.
  • The early morning hours are often the most productive ones. Reserve the early morning hours for the most important and urgent tasks, those that require more concentration and effort.
  • Include the tasks that were pending yesterday for completion.
  • The final hours are not very productive. Reserve the last hours for less important tasks that require less effort and concentration.
  • Reserve at least one half-hour to run microtasks. The microtasks require less than five minutes for its completion.
  • Don’t fill every hour of the day. Leave free holes to face delays, uncertainties and breaks.
  • Set a reward and reserve an exclusive task for the distractions at the end of the day: check email, use internet, use social networks, etc.
  • Eliminate from the inbox the tasks that are already contained in the “TODAY” list.

EXECUTION

  • The list “TODAY” should be always visible.
  • Constantly review this list, following the plan marked.
  • Put the focus always on the current task.
  • Interruptions should not last more than a minute.
  • Avoid distractions until you deserve them as a reward.
  • Update the status tasks.
  • Look for short breaks after times of intense work, so that the mind is refreshed and can continue performing effectively. The Pomodoro technique is a good reference.
  • If an important task is paralyzed due to a dependency, go to the next important task.
  • If you finish an important task ahead of time, take a short break as a reward, and take advantage of the time remaining to dispatch microtasks or less important tasks.
  • The last task of the day should be a review of the list “TODAY”. Reflect about the progress and the possible deviations from the plan, an return to the inbox those tasks that are pending of completion.

CONCLUSION

The key to efficiently manage tasks is to acquire the habit of constancy. If you daily make a planning, a review and an implementation of the tasks in an organized way, you will have all done with less effort and with better results, being productive and efficient.

What is your system for managing task lists? Do you want to share a trick or a personal technique?

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