Can A Daily/Weekly/Monthly To Do List Help You Get More Done?

Can A Daily/Weekly/Monthly To Do List Help You Get More Done?

Weekly to do list invincibleinc.com

This is Week 18 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested Agota Bialobzeskyte’s Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List. I kept a paper list for weekly and monthly tasks and used IQtell to manage my daily tasks. Scroll to the end of last week’s post for more details.

How A Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Kept me from being surprised by important tasks. I don’t have a regular routine of reviewing the upcoming month or week and I absolutely loved this aspect of the system.
  • Gave me a sense of control. Because I checked every source of tasks (paper inbox, backlog, calendar) before making my lists, I felt on top of my work.

How A Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Lists were too big. While I really don’t like rules that limit me to an arbitrary number of tasks, I also didn’t like that I was allowed to have a huge weekly list. I think I had half my month’s list on this week’s list. Each day’s list was so large as well that the motivation to complete it just wasn’t there. I never came close to finishing a day’s list or the list for the week.
  • Closed nature of the lists was confusing. We had a discussion in the comments about what to do with tasks that came up. I suggested that it made sense to replace one of the tasks on the list with a new one. But the list was so big, it really didn’t matter.
  • I had low energy. Unfortunately, I’m still not brimming with excess energy. I didn’t have it in me to really dive in and do many of the tasks on my list–especially because the lists were large. However, my summer project list continues to motivate me! There’s a lesson in there somewhere that I need to reflect on.

Did A Daily/Weekly/Monthly Help Me Get More Done?

No. But I really like the exercise of planning a week and a month in advance. If I hadn’t attempted to get a year’s worth of work done in a week, I think it would have worked.

**UPDATE**

This is one of the most popular posts in this series and I understand why. I have been just as interested in having a daily/weekly/monthly to-do list. I don’t use this one. I posted on a better daily/weekly/monthly to-do list and my 1-Thing To-Do List is the only list of this type I use consistently.

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 19

Mark Forster productivity

This week I’ll be testing Mark Forster’s Ultimate Time Management System. (I’ll wait while you chuckle.) Mark is developing methods of time management faster than I can test them and I’m running out of pictures to use (this is not this particular approach pictured). I continue to test Mark’s methods because they’re unique and my traffic always goes up when I do. I’ll begin with a closed paper list of OLD tasks to accomplish–what I’d like to complete in the next couple of weeks. Old tasks continue to be worked on and are re-added to the old list until they’re complete. New tasks go on the new paper list. When the old list is finished, the new list becomes the old list. Got it?

The concept. Mark has created rules for task management that create a closed list of old tasks–encouraging us to finish those tasks we least want to do. The new list is used as a break from these tasks. These are the current things that often pull our attention away from the less flashy things. The rule is that wherever you start working on the new list, you can’t work backward. In other words, if you choose task #5, you can go on to task #6 and later, but not #1-4. When you reach the end of the new list (having either worked on tasks or decided you don’t want to do them), you return to working on the old list. This is so you don’t get to stay on the latest and greatest tasks too long.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read Mark’s blog post and his explanations to commenters to follow. Make a list of tasks you’d like to accomplish in the next two weeks. Choose any task to work on for as long as you like. If it’s finished, cross it off and work another task. If you’re not finished, cross it off and re-enter it on the old list. As new tasks come up, add them to the new list. You can begin working on the new list whenever you like, according to the rule mentioned above.

To see how my week with the Ultimate Time Management System went, click here.

Are you on Pinterest? Follow my Organization and Productivity board.

If you’ve tried the Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List to increase your productivity, please vote in the poll below.

Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:

A Year of Living Productively

Week 1: Paper To-Do List

Week 2: Covey’s Quadrants

Week 3: Routines

Week 4: Paper Planner

Week 5: SMEMA

Week 6: Guilt Hour

Week 7: Envision Ideal Day

Week 8: Do it Tomorrow

Week 9: Pomodoro

Week 10: Time Warrior

Week 11: Scheduling

Week 12: The Repeat Test

Week 13: Personal Kanban

Week 14: Eat That Frog

Week 15: Vacation

Week 16: David Seah’s 7:15AM Ritual

Week 17: Another Simple and Effective Method

 

 

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Can Another Simple and Effective Method Help You Get More Done?

Can Another Simple and Effective Method Help You Get More Done?

Another Simple Effective Method

This is Week 17 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested Another Simple and Effective Method of Mark Forster’s. I kept a paper task list, crossed off a task all the way across the page, and then did a task from each of the newly created sections of the list and so on. Scroll to the end of last week’s post for details.

How Another Simple and Effective Method of Mark Forster’s Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Had me excited to get things done. I don’t test a method unless I really think there’s a potential for it increasing my productivity and this was no different. I began the week very motivated.

How Another Simple and Effective Method of Mark Forster’s Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Couldn’t find the tasks. I made a list of 90+ tasks. That probably isn’t the best approach to take with this method. I frequently had to do tasks regardless of where they were on the list because they became urgent. I couldn’t find them then and it made the system super confusing once I did.
  • Open task list. One of the things I’ve learned thus far is that I function better using a closed list (one in which no new tasks can be added). I found myself feeling very resistant to adding tasks to the end of the list. I wanted a list that kept shrinking. I disliked this aspect of the approach so much, that I quit using it halfway through the week.
  • Competing interests. I haven’t been feeling well this week. (I know I keep mentioning this without explaining. When I have an answer, I will be sharing on the blog. Until then, know that I’m pretty sure what the problem is and it’s treatable.) When I don’t feel well, I tend to do the must-do’s only and I don’t want to mess with an approach like this one. Finally, I’m finding that I’m extremely motivated by my summer project list. After the critical issues, I haven’t wanted to do much of anything else but my weekly project. I have been in single focus mode and I suspect that I function best this way most of the time.

Did Another Simple and Effective Method Help Me Get More Done?

No. The open nature of the list and my circumstances this week didn’t work for me. Your mileage may vary.

**UPDATE**

I not only don’t use this approach, but I have had no desire to use a mammoth list of tasks to get things done for a long time.

Weekly to do list invincibleinc.com

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 18

This week I’ll be testing Agota Bialobzeskyte’s Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List. I’ll begin with a closed list of monthly tasks to accomplish. I’ll base my closed weekly list of tasks on it and my daily list of tasks from the weekly list.

The concept. Agota has a problem with infinite to-do lists just like I do. She bases her approach on Scott Young‘s (who doesn’t use a monthly list). By not being allowed to add more tasks to the lists when they’re complete, you get a real feeling of accomplishment. By looking ahead for a month, you’re including tasks other than what’s right in front of you–enabling you to work ahead. Doing so enables one to feel on top of things.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read Agota’s guest post on Productive Superdad, taking note of the FAQs at the end. Choose a means of making your lists. I’ll be using paper for the monthly and weekly goals and will have digital daily lists that I will print out. Create your weekly list by drawing from your monthly list. Each day (either the night before or morning of), create your daily list based on your weekly list. Cross off tasks as you do them. Like the list above? It’s not perfectly suited for this, but you can download it here.

Click here to see how my week with a daily/weekly/monthly to-do list went.

Are you on Pinterest? Follow my Organization and Productivity board.

If you’ve tried Another Simple and Effective Method to increase your productivity, please vote in the poll below.

Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:

A Year of Living Productively

Week 1: Paper To-Do List

Week 2: Covey’s Quadrants

Week 3: Routines

Week 4: Paper Planner

Week 5: SMEMA

Week 6: Guilt Hour

Week 7: Envision Ideal Day

Week 8: Do it Tomorrow

Week 9: Pomodoro

Week 10: Time Warrior

Week 11: Scheduling

Week 12: The Repeat Test

Week 13: Personal Kanban

Week 14: Eat That Frog

Week 15: Vacation

Week 16: David Seah’s 7:15AM Ritual

 

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