This weeks task for Kate's Life Circle was to try managing my time using a To Do list.
I've used these in the past with mixed results. Microsoft Outlook has a Task list which I've used at work to keep track of what I'm currently doing and what I have to do. For the most part I've managed to get through all of the tasks but some simply end up sitting there and I end up feeling guilty that I've not done them. Eventually the tasks become so out of date that I simply delete them.
With this task I went as simple as possible and put together a list of things that I had to do in an OpenOffice document. Each task being tagged with Importance and Urgency. I then focused on those that were highest priority, which were work related.
It was useful, although as I'd done the list at home I didn't actually have it with me so that wasn't the most brilliant idea. However, thanks to Kate I then discovered Tooledo which I can access on my laptop at home, via my PC at work or on my phone. A much better solution and something I like.
I've gone through my To Do list and transferred it to Tooledo, grouped everything according to whether its related to home, work, fitness, social or something else. Each items has then been prioritised as Low, Medium, High or Top. At a glance I can now see what needs to be done in the short term and what I can put off until much later. Having a list of things I need to do has been really useful because I've already gone and completed some really easy tasks which gives me a bit more of an incentive.
I used a similar idea with mytransition plan and it worked quite well.
I'm not sure that the discipline of just writing a list was enough. I'm always writing lists of things that I need to do. What I needed was the motivation to complete items on the list. I got that from the fact that with the work activities the incentive was already there. Having to write this post about how I got on gave me the incentive to complete some of the home activities.
I've not got a huge amount done this week but what I have managed is either very urgent and very important or not as important but something that can be done quickly while doing something else. For instance I've been meaning to pop into a local beauty salon to find out about their laser hair removal so I did this today while on my way to a speech therapy session.
The most useful thing about having a To Do list is that it means I have to think about what really matters to me since I have to give things a priority and so have to actually have to think about things enough to realize if they are important enough for me to want to do or not.