Keeping on Task and Tracking My Time

I’m a big fan of the whole Getting Things Done system, however, I’ve always been a list person. However, in Getting Things Done David mentions my lists:

To-do lists make you feel like you have to get everything done on them today, instead of pacing yourself.

When I read what David had to say about to-do lists I realized why I had this love hate afair with my lovely life-leveling lists. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, while looking up GTD type accessories to keep my life together even in the busiest of times, I happened to find David Seah’s Emergent Task Planner. This handy tool has saved my life!

It keeps my love of lists intact while making me remember that if I don’t get everything done it’s OK, because I’m awesome for just even finishing three items today. For each set of three tasks I complete it has a little “go get ’em tiger” type message, and when you get to a total of nine completed items, it reminds you that you may burn out if you keep going like you are.

David Seah's Emergent Task Planner

David Seah's Emergent Task Planner

So how do I use it?

  1. I start my task list by listing my “permanent tasks”, thinks like meetings or items that are ABSOLUTELY required today.
  2. Then I list all the other tasks by priority that I need to finish that I know of. Many of these are carried over from the previous day’s list.
  3. For each task I make an estimate of how much time I think it’s going to take me to complete.
  4. Then I fill in the time grid based on the estimates, this allows me to know how much “free time” I have during the day for those random tasks or meetings that may popup
  5. I then use the bottom under the task list to jot down any tasks that pop up during the day that aren’t URGENT but need to be carried over through-out the week
  6. When I finish a task, I still get the satisfaction of checking it off, and I also fill in exactly how much time it really did take me to complete.
  7. Get Productive, Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
  8. Then at the end of week I use the completed sheets to fill in my time sheets at the end of the week.

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This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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