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« Review of the Systems: DWM (Day, Week, Month) | Main | Review of the Systems: Autofocus 4 »

Review of the Systems: Predictive To Do List

A description of this method can be found by clicking here.

Brief Summary

As a change from the Autofocus-type systems, the Predictive To Do List consists of writing down a list of all the tasks which you actually think you will do today. Instead of ticking items off the list as you do them, the idea is to do one’s work without looking at the list more than a couple of times during the day.


This is a much easier way of working than ticking tasks off a list, and usually the complete list can be finished during the day.


There is a strong tendency to write down a long list of things which you want to do (or feel you ought to do). This turns this into yet another to do list and the ease of working is lost.


It can be very effective, provided that the list continues to be of the things you actually think you will do today. If that is lost sight of, then the method will fail.

Reader Comments (5)

I use this when I'm behind. I add up time estimates and shrink the list until I have a reasonable day planned. Sometimes that means cutting or putting off, or doing less than my best on something, but at least I know up front. Also, seeing a doable list reassures me that I can get it all done, so I'm more likely to recharge my batteries intentionally (knit, read) than because I'm overwhelmed (browse internet for distraction).
January 26, 2011 at 18:22 | Registered CommenterCricket
I don't keep the list hidden. Usually I pick three things and do at least two before coming back to the list. It depends on the flow.
January 26, 2011 at 18:23 | Registered CommenterCricket
This can be tweaked by rating how successful your prediction was (1-10) and asking what took you away from the prediction, and what would be needed to stay closer to it.
July 12, 2012 at 11:37 | Unregistered Commentermichael

Good ideas, do you / would you suggest limiting the number of items numerically (e.g. 6, 10, 100 etc.)
July 13, 2012 at 12:24 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
@Leon The number of items falls out in the prediction tuning.
July 14, 2012 at 12:13 | Unregistered Commentermichael

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