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« Second Day of Testing | Main | How to sort out a room - and keep it sorted »

First Day of Testing

My playing around with the latest version of my new time management system seems to have worked out ok, so I’m going to make another attempt to test it out for one week, starting today.

Last time I listed what I wanted to achieve during the course of the week, but this time I plan to list each day what I want to achieve during that day.

So this is what I want for today:

Tomorrow’s blog post  [completed]

Walk of at least 3 miles [3.26 miles cross-country in 49 mins @ 4 mph]

Issue my newsletter [Completed, scheduled for sending 11.01 a.m. 14 March]

Second draft of Marketing Plan for local association [continuing]

Keep up to date with all routine tasks, e.g. email, website comments, voicemail, paper, facebook, etc [evernote, take blood pressure, wind clock, dishes, clean muddy boots, finance] [all completed]

Watch Truffaut’s Les Quatre cents coups [completed]

Sort bureau drawer [continuing]

Dispose of outdated business vouchers, statements, etc. [continuing]

Work on outline of new book [continuing]

Business plan [continuing]

Read unspecified amount of Napoleon the Great [26 pages]

I’ve no appointments today so I should be able to a good shot at these.

I’ll try to cross them out in real time, so if anyone wants to see how I’m getting on they can check the web page during the day.

Reader Comments (19)

Hi Mark,
I don't suppose I could tempt you into giving us a sneak peak into your new time management system. Many of us are quite anxious to find out just what this new miracle system is. Thanks!
March 7, 2016 at 9:16 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Well, as I've said before, I don't know what it is myself yet!
March 7, 2016 at 9:21 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
When I saw that "website comments" was scored out I thought you had decided not to reply to comments as some mildly negative ones last week. Glad to see that it was that I had just visited the site when you had completed that task
March 7, 2016 at 9:27 | Unregistered Commenterskeg
My favourite kind of your posts - the live trialling.
March 7, 2016 at 9:29 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming

I'm crossing it out when I'm up to date with comments. It will only stay crossed out if I'm up to date at the end of the day. The same applies to all the routine tasks.
March 7, 2016 at 9:30 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Wait a minute. If you are testing a "no-list" system then isn't this list against going the "spirit" of the system, in that you have a list of things to do?
March 7, 2016 at 16:42 | Registered Commenternuntym
<<Wait a minute. If you are testing a "no-list" system then isn't this list against going the "spirit" of the system, in that you have a list of things to do?>>

Nuntym, lol. 😀 I think it's just for illustrative purposes.
March 7, 2016 at 17:20 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming

<< If you are testing a "no-list" system then isn't this list against going the "spirit" of the system, in that you have a list of things to do? >>

Actually I've already anticipated your question in my blog post for tomorrow. So I won't spoil it for you now!
March 7, 2016 at 17:44 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Haha, OK, eagerly awaiting your response then!
March 7, 2016 at 18:08 | Registered Commenternuntym
Neil: <<Nuntym, lol. 😀 I think it's just for illustrative purposes. >>

Hey, I think it's a valid objection to point out an "observer bias" if you want to experiment a "No List" system :-p
March 7, 2016 at 18:16 | Registered Commenternuntym
nuntym, Neil,

There's a difference between a to do list driving your actions and an idea of what you're hoping to get done,

I find that starting with a clear idea of what I'm hoping to achieve helps to "set" my mind and make better, faster choices of the next things on my "no-list" throughout the day. Even if opportunities come up and I end up doing very different things.

This is probably the wrong answer. Looking forward to getting put in my place tomorrow. Though, in the spirit of the "no-list", I can't guarantee that looking here will become a priority!

Which raises the question of keeping inboxes clear. This is certainly an inbox, from which I get a lot of benefit. But it is also something of a distraction from my daily work. It has the key feature, though, that nobody else will suffer if I don't look at it. Any commitments it holds for me are only to myself. As such, I feel fairly relaxed about whether I get to it or not.

Fortunately, Mark and the other contributors feel differently!
March 7, 2016 at 18:42 | Registered CommenterWill
It took me a little too much time to work it out in my head that "wind clock" was not actually some timekeeping device powered by a fan you are building on the side and was actually a much more reasonable day-to-day activity.
March 7, 2016 at 22:14 | Unregistered CommenterEiron Page
Eiron Page:

It only needs to be wound once a week so you won't be troubled by it any more!
March 7, 2016 at 22:16 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I would be interested to know which of these tasks at the start of the day was the most urgent, the most important to do and the one offering the most resistance, and then to discover if any of them were done.
March 7, 2016 at 22:37 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

All tasks on the list were done - though some were too big to be completed in one day.

The most urgent: Keeping to in-box zero. - completed

The most important: The business plan - worked on and continuing.

The one offering the most resistance: The 3-mile walk, though paradoxically that is also the one I most enjoy. Completed.
March 7, 2016 at 22:42 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
WTG, Mark! Most excellent that you got that not inconsiderable list knocked off in one day.
Methinks you have it in you to get a lot done regardless of what system you use.
You are simply one hell of a productive guy!
March 8, 2016 at 2:49 | Unregistered CommenterTom
And a lot got done in the evening. I admit to having periods where I just flop, so this is a useful reminder that there are 16 waking hours in a day, and they all get filled, one way or another.
March 8, 2016 at 9:15 | Registered CommenterWill

<< You are simply one hell of a productive guy! >>

Tell that to my wife!
March 8, 2016 at 9:50 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

<< I admit to having periods where I just flop >>

I do tend to use it all my waking hours. On the other hand even flop time is improved by being a bit controlled.
March 8, 2016 at 9:53 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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