Following on from my posting yesterday about the evolution of time management systems, what type of system do you think would win the evolutionary stakes? We’re looking at one that will emerge from the evolutionary shadows and supersede every system so far developed. Is that likely to happen? - almost certainly in the fullness of time.
Let’s do a bit of speculating.
First of all, what sort of list would it use? Existing time management systems are based on differing lengths of list, ranging from a “Catch All” list to no list at all.
Over the next few days I’ll deal with each of the main lengths of list. Today I start with the “Catch All” list.
Examples of “Catch All” lists include David Allen’s in “Getting Things Done”, my own Autofocus and Final Version series, the traditional prioritized list and a whole multitude of others.
As the name implies you list everything that you need or want to get done, sometimes even including things which you are not sure about. You can add more tasks and projects as you think of them. There are many different ways of then processing the tasks on the list, but the basic similarity is that you are aiming for completeness. Everything is out of your head and onto paper.
Following David Allen, many people also use a “Someday/Maybe” list. This means that you are not only writing down what you need or want to get done now, but also the things which you would like to do in the future. Again the idea is to get everything out of your head onto paper.
In the evolutionary stakes, what are the advantages of the “Catch All” list? The biggest advantage is completeness, but this is only achieved at the price of losing focus - or at the very least having to do a lot of work on keeping your focus.
A system based on a “Catch All” list is very vulnerable to being overtaken in the evolutionary stakes by a system which produces a greater degree of focus.
What do you think?
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