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« Reposting: New Seminar Dates | Main | "Do It Tomorrow" Reviews »
Wednesday
Feb202008

Getting Going Again

As I’ve blogged before in the recent past, I have been working on a new method of time management. Unfortunately in spite of all my efforts - which have been considerable - it simply hasn’t worked. So I think now is the time to call a halt and go back to what I know does work.

Every cloud has a silver lining and this is no exception. It gives me a good opportunity to show how effectively Do It Tomorrow works. After more than a year of not using the Do It Tomorrow techniques, I have badly neglected my business and my work has descended into chaos. So now I have an excellent subject for blogging:- How quickly and effectively can I move forward using DIT?

One of the great advantages of DIT is that it puts you instantly back on top of your work. This is done by “declaring a backlog”. Instead of struggling to get up-to-date with piles of email, paper and tasks, you simply sweep them all into folders and get on with the new stuff. You can then deal with the backlogs at your leisure in the knowledge that they can only get smaller.

The next thing I need to do is draw up a Will Do list. I did that last night and kept it as short as I possibly could. In fact all it consists of is this:

Current Initiative
Email
Voicemail
Paper
Task Diary
Tidy Desk
Draw Up Tomorrow’s List

As I’ve not yet spent any time thinking about projects for the future, the Task Diary list is only four items:

Buy page-a-day diary to use as Task Diary
Follow up lunch with J
Blog: Seminars
Newsletter

And finally, my Current Initiative is to clear the backlogs - the main one is paper.

Remember with DIT the aim is to do everything on the list without exception - that’s why it’s called a Will Do list.  I’ve deliberately kept the list as short as possible today to get myself off to a good start. I shouldn’t have any problem getting through it with ease.

So let’s get going: my first action is to start clearing the backlogs. I’ll start with email. Let’s see, the only email I haven’t dealt with came in yesterday - so that’s not a backlog. Paper? Yes, I’ve got several items including some bank statements to be reconciled. With a Current Initiative, I don’t have to finish everything - I just have to do some work on it.

Time now: 8.40 a.m. How long will it take me to get through everything?

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Reader Comments (7)

Love to know about the time management system that DIDN'T work. Am a novice DIT user - just trying it out. Hoping for good things, but am a professional procrastinator so wary.
February 20, 2008 at 11:43 | Unregistered CommenterPam
I seem to be getting going again all the time, will buying a page to a day diary really make a difference? What does one do with the very expensive A4 leather filofax?
February 20, 2008 at 11:44 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Kennedy
I too am intrigued to hear which new methods you have been experimenting with that haven't worked. I have been working with DIT methods for over a year now, and the Task Diary is an absolute lifesaver. The main advantage I have found is that it has drastically reduced my stress, and when I am less stressed I work more effectively, get more done....and so on! I have a varied work programme - some days I am out teaching all day, other days I have half in the office, half out, and as I teach riding (and anyone who works with horses will know that they are no respectors of time, except when it comes to being fed!) it is is often difficult to predict my schedule. So even on the odd day when I don't get all my tasks done that are scheduled in my diary, (gasp!) I know exactly what I have to do, so don't need to get stressed fantasizing about how beind I am.
I only implemented the backlog thing and the task diary and it changed my working practices, my stress levels and productivity dramatically.
My suggestion would be, if you do nothing else, buy a task diary and get into the habit of planning what work you need to do tomorrow.
P.S. I am also a regularly performing poet, with a messy husband and pregnant!( me, not the husband)
February 20, 2008 at 11:59 | Unregistered CommenterTina sederholm
Hi Mark,

I am confused, I thought your Task Diary was your Will-Do Closed List. You appear from your post to be operating your Will Do list at a higher level than that?

All the best

Steve
February 20, 2008 at 12:44 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Wynn
Dear Steve

The Task Diary is one of the items on the Will Do list. The Will Do list is the same every day, while the Task Diary is different every day.

Basically the Will Do list is a list of closed lists, plus tasks (such as "tidy office") which you do every day.
February 20, 2008 at 14:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Yes, let's hear about the time management system so tantalizing that our mentor spent a year on it before discarding it. If it's allure was too much for you to resist, how would we resist it...unless you warn us by telling us what it's called.
February 20, 2008 at 15:43 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
In answer to everyone above, what I was trying to do was see whether it was possible to act without goals and structure, and if so how it could be done.

My conclusion basically is that it can't! (not by me anyway)
February 21, 2008 at 9:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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