Yes, I’m finding it easier to get things done with a to-do list. Mind you, having tried to use two or three on the iPhone, I’ve realised it needs to be desktop or paper-based. Unless I can find a good one that effectively stretches across iPhone and desktop in a seamless, sync’d-in fashion.
Having a to-do list isn’t the end of it. I need to be conscientious about keeping it up-to-date and reasonable for a start. If I have more than about half-a-dozen things on there, for example, I know that I’m heading for a loser. Half-a-dozen means I can be working on a couple of things now, a couple of things then, and a final two soon. Planning more than that means planning too far ahead – and the moment you do that you lose some of the impetus. A sort of claustrophobia sets in and I feel crowded out by the enormity of whatever I’m expecting from myself.
So, I have a very simple tool – TaskMate – that represents little more than an electronic tick-list. I could do it on paper – but then I’d lose it. If I have the tasks set down on my desktop and they’re there every start-up… I’m keenly aware of them.
And, I don’t like to refill the list until I’ve got all half-a-dozen tasks done, otherwise the last one or two get pushed out. If priority demands it, I’m introduce something new – but that’s only one thing and only because if I don’t do it now something dire will happening (like sorting out the insurance for my car the weekend before last).
Right now, I have one, and only one, priority at work – though this has sub-tasks to complete… but, there I can have a paper-based to-do that I can’t lose. For the time being, I remain retro at work and keep the to-do on the agenda and key in my mind by revisiting it daily and re-scribing it weekly. Re-writing the whole thing, I ensure new priorities get the attention they need and where nothing stands out I can make judgment calls for the week ahead based on who might be available when to have catch-up meetings with.
NOTE: I have now discovered tadalist, which I’m going to give a go. It’ll all via browser, but the site has a very friendly iPhone face that looks promising. I might actually get this bitch of a to do list online…