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Living the No-List Way

With his permission I’m reposting a recent forum post by Wooba


This is how I have been doing things for a few weeks now:

I don’t use a task list of any kind. I am as No List as you can get.

I have a list of projects. It is short and covers all areas of my life including entertainment. I also have a list of life and work goals that I update as needed.

Every time I finish a task, I ask myself what is the best thing to be doing now, and I do that until I have had enough or it is finished. I try to go through my whole day like that.

I have been operating inbox empty techniques for years and try to always be ahead of the curve. This colours my answers to the question of what is best to do now. Inboxes aren’t just email, post, voicemail and stuff like that, they are shows in your Netflix queue, piles of books to read, dishwashers to empty, kitchens and bathrooms to clean. I clean as I go, tidy while waiting for the kettle to boil, and use triggers to initiate small actions.

If some new urgent task turns up, I deal with it immediately or at the next task change.

If I am interrupted, I stop doing what I am doing and deal with the interruption. That might be by giving it time, or by dealing with it quickly so I can get back to what is the best thing to be doing now.

I use checklists for repetitive projects that I don’t do often enough to have made them routine, such as taxes and accounts.

I (now) use dynamic lists for more complex projects where the next action isn’t obvious. This list is destroyed at the end of the day or more frequently if appropriate.

I don’t have very complex projects that involve lots of people and resources, so I rarely need to plan.

I wouldn’t say it gets as much done as, say, AF1 or FVP, or especially the random method did for me, but it gets the right things done, which those other systems didn’t. I am not busy, because all those small tasks that are written on catch-all lists just don’t crop up, because they either never needed to be done in the first place, or only needed to be done at the moment they were written down, or were just busy-work to make my list look longer and me look busier and thus more important. Now, I have time to breathe, to think, to rest, the urgent is under control and the important stuff is progressed. And I have the capacity to deal with emergencies with less stress.

OK, some of it doesn’t always work, but on the whole my life in general and work-life in particular are running smoother than I have ever known.

Thanks Mark. I couldn’t have got here without you.

Reader Comments (1)

Wow, that's awesome! Congratulations Wooba! It sounds to me like you have arrived!
February 29, 2016 at 14:37 | Unregistered CommenterMiracle

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