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  • Are your lists flat, stale, and unprofitable?

    I've noticed a number of people recently, both here and in my work, who have a problem with stale Action lists. You know what I mean? When you've done some of the NAs, crossed 'em out or whatever you do, and there's still some to do. The list looks like that tangle of hair in the drain in the shower, all straggled all over the place and pretty unappealing.

    So here's something that works for me: instead of writing writing my context lists on a sheet of paper, I write each NA on a sticky, which I stick on the inside of a context manila folder. I use the left for 'pretty damn soon' things, and the right for 'things to do when I run out of pretty damn soon' things. As each NA gets done, I peel it off and stick it on the daily pile. At the end of the day, I count up the pile, congratulate myself and do the sticky dance, then fill up the left of each context folder again ready for the next day.

    This means that:
    1) I can see at the end of the day how many NAs I've accomplished;
    2) I can see if there's any of my contexts I've been ignoring (because the left is still full at the end of the day);
    3) I date the stickies, so I can see if anything's been hanging around too long;
    4) The stickies have a bit more space to write details;
    5) My context lists stay clean and pristine!

    Mind you, I use a lot of stickies, but I think it's worth it to get so many projects moving, and keep me on track. On Friday, in the late afternoon, I felt a bit discouraged, because I'd not had a session with a client, didn't have any finished documents, and hadn't achieved a couple of big things. But then, when I counted up the stickies, I realised that I'd got 21 stickies off my lists, which means 21 of my projects moved forward a bit. And that made me feel a whole lot better.

    I got this trick from a book called Conquering Chronic Disorganisation, and I think it's a good one. I'd be interested to hear what others think of it.

  • #2
    I think it's great!!

    Hi there, Unstuffed,

    What time is it there anyway? Shouldn't you be in bed, or out wrestling a croc or something?

    I think your program with the stickies sounds great and can see how it would provide some spiritual boost (apologies to the Christian). I was going to copy my lists over tonight in a new color ink etc, and now I think I might try the sticky route for this week. I am going to get right on it!!

    Your friend, Trish

    Comment


    • #3
      whoops, a glitch

      So you have a different folder for each context right? My favorite contexts are Call on Phone and Online/Email. I hate At Desk, and At Home. I would not open those folders. A glitch already....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Trish View Post
        Hi there, Unstuffed,

        What time is it there anyway? Shouldn't you be in bed, or out wrestling a croc or something?
        Hey, no crocs this far south: they keep them up at the Top End, where the crazy people live. It's nearly midday here in Adelaide, a very civilised city indeed. Our biggest threat of a toothy variety is the white pointer shark, aka 'Great White', probably aka Jaws. Every year a few people get taken, often from the beach which is about 10 minutes walk from my house. It keeps one alert. Given global warming and global depletion of fish stocks, in a decade or so they'll be knocking at my door (rather like an old scifi story that had someone taken at their front door by a giant lamprey. Eeuuwww).

        I think your program with the stickies sounds great and can see how it would provide some spiritual boost (apologies to the Christian). I was going to copy my lists over tonight in a new color ink etc, and now I think I might try the sticky route for this week. I am going to get right on it!!

        Your friend, Trish
        Hot diggety (apologies etc). It's pretty good for me, possibly because it has that feeling of constant moving/change that helps keep me going. Let me know how it works!

        Your friend, Alison

        Comment


        • #5
          pile em up?

          I could put a bunch of stickies in my Filofax but that would sort of defeat the purpose. I would put them on the various pages that are appropriate, but they would have to be on top of each other. does it make any sense to do that? I am not ready to go the folder route. I like the idea of clean pages however. Peeling them off etc.

          I live right on the Lake here too. Nothing much down there but ice.

          Trish
          Last edited by Trish; 01-27-2007, 06:38 PM. Reason: wrong word

          Comment


          • #6
            Hmmm, the folder method without the folders...

            Originally posted by Trish View Post
            I could put a bunch of stickies in my Filofax but that would sort of defeat the purpose. I would put them on the various pages that are appropriate, but they would have to be on top of each other. does it make any sense to do that? I am not ready to go the folder route. I like the idea of clean pages however. Peeling them off etc.

            I live right on the Lake here too. Nothing much down there but ice.

            Trish
            Twisted indeed, Missy Trish. Let me think. Yes, a bunch of stickies in your Filofax would defeat the purpose, wherever you stick them. How much of your work is done in one location? If you're always @Desk, it could be easier, but if you're flitting hither and yon during the course of the day, it'll take some thinking on this.

            Lake? Huh. I got ocean. (preens)

            Oh, wait. You mean a real lake, not an Australian lake (aka back yard last week before I cleaned out the gutters). Oh. Okay.

            Well, uh, my large expanse of water has salt. Does yours? (pathetic attempt to recover lost face)

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep thinking...

              LAKE MICHIGAN!!!!!!! not a rain puddle. (no salt though, but BIG) Called the third coast here. Okay enough of that.

              I am about ready to bust out some folders. For one week, what the hey! I do like stuff to go with me but maybe I can try this.

              Trish

              Comment


              • #8
                Water, just running around loose!

                Originally posted by Trish View Post
                LAKE MICHIGAN!!!!!!! not a rain puddle. (no salt though, but BIG) Called the third coast here. Okay enough of that.
                Okay, I'll pay Lake Michigan. We don't get many lakes here, or at least, not for long. The Land Of Flat And Brown doesn't provide too many catchment oportunities, and the constant sunshine soon takes care of any uncontained water. We're in a big drought at the moment: Level 3 water restrictions, so a body the size of Lake Michigan would soon be a seething sea of humanity wielding buckets ("It just falls out of the sky! Like, like, err, like old satellites!" "You're crazy, man. Water comes from taps.").

                I am about ready to bust out some folders. For one week, what the hey! I do like stuff to go with me but maybe I can try this.
                Onya, Trish! Give it a go for a week, see how you like it, and if the folders are still too awkward we'll come up with another hack.

                Comment


                • #9
                  folders

                  okay, in the spirit of international fellowship, I got the folders out, looked at them hard, opened one, looked at stickies---and voice inside said to myself, "This will never happen."

                  I did put one stickie in my filofax and it doesn't look right either. I think I will recopy my lists over in another color ink. Now that I can do!! But you keep on, Alison. Onward, ho!! Trish

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Spurned

                    Originally posted by Trish View Post
                    okay, in the spirit of international fellowship, I got the folders out, looked at them hard, opened one, looked at stickies---and voice inside said to myself, "This will never happen."

                    I did put one stickie in my filofax and it doesn't look right either. I think I will recopy my lists over in another color ink. Now that I can do!! But you keep on, Alison. Onward, ho!! Trish
                    Waaahhhhh! Oh, Trish, my heart is broke!

                    On a more serious note, it's good to recognise when something won't work for you. I think some part of our problems come when we don't recognise that, and keep stubbornly banging away at a system that's not working.

                    Anyone else fancy the folder solution? True, it doesn't work so well when everything has to be mobile. But it does help if you hate seeing messy lists.

                    Meanwhile, I'll see if I can come up with another hack of the hack...

                    Comment

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