I have always been a big fan of all these digital Task Managers and To-do lists. However, after downloading a dozen softwares for desktop to-do lists and sticky-notes, I was yet to find something that clicked! That is, till I saw a(nother) Randy Pausch video – This one, on Time Management! In that he suggests a specific to-do list format
When I didn’t find a digital version of this list on the internet, I decided to make one for myself! Now I am no coder, so I had to make do with a somewhat primitive tool – MS Excel
And I inserted a Quick-Launch Shortcut* to the taskbar – works just as good as any sticky-note software.
This list is not going to magically increase the length of the day to 25 hours or improve my productivity at the task by 50% or even help me squeeze in more work within the existing timeframe – but it does something much more important – It makes me prioritize!
And not just decide what is more important or urgent, but also put it down in writing so that I am constantly reminded!
It helps me work only on the more important or immediate tasks and postpone the less important/urgent ones for later ; for e.g. I haven’t archived my mail in 2 months – and will not do so till I absolutely HAVE to (Randy Pausch: “Your E-Mail inbox is NOT your to-do list!”)
I don’t put in office work here – I don’t juggle 10 different things simultaneously at office and so am able to manage work without it. But this helps me manage those supplementary office and personal chores like filling my weekly timesheet, paying my bills etc.
I also use it to put down any new idea/project/task/blog-post that I need to work on – this way whenever I am free I look at the list and always have something worthwhile to do!
A blank copy of the excel is attached >> to-do
*To Add a Quick Launch shortcut just drag the file and drop it on the Quick Launch section.
To activate Quick Launch, right-click on taskbar>properties>Taskbar>Show Quick Launch>OK