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« Input vs. Output | Main | Buy Me a Coffee! »
Monday
Apr182016

No-List Types - IV: Rotating Lists

The final type of no-list system I want to describe is the Rotating List. There are many possible variations, but the essence of a rotating list is that tasks are re-entered if they are going to be needed again at any time during the current day.

This characteristic means that they are normally started again at the beginning of the day. They grow too unwieldy if kept going for a period longer than a day.

They are usually combined with an Entry by Doing approach. The sequence of work is:

  1. Write a new task
  2. Work on the task
  3. Cross task off the list
  4. Re-enter the task at the end of the list if it will need to be worked on again that day.
  5. Revisit all tasks on the list as in steps 2 and 3.
  6. When all tasks have been worked on, go back to step 1.

A variation of this is to enter more than one new task at a time in step 1. Either way the list gradually lengthens as the day progresses.

An example of a rotating list system is Spinning Plates, though this is more complicated than the basic rotating list method described above.

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Reader Comments (3)

You certainly are fond of crossing off an item on the list once you've worked on it for awhile, and then reentering it again if it calls for more work. I always wonder why you like to go to all this trouble. When I work on something for awhile, but don't complete it, I simply put a small checkmark next to the item, which tells me I've worked on it some, but that it needs more work.
What advantage do you find, Mark, to crossing it off and reentering it???
Thanks!
April 19, 2016 at 2:26 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Tom:

<< You certainly are fond of crossing off an item on the list once you've worked on it for awhile, and then reentering it again if it calls for more work. I always wonder why you like to go to all this trouble. >>

If you prefer to use checkmarks (or nothing at all) that's fine by me. But to answer your question "Why do you like to go to all this trouble?":

1) I don't regard writing one strike-out and a one or two word task as a whole lot of trouble. Most of the time my work involves writing in one way or another - a few extra words are neither here nor there to me.

2) More positively, I find crossing out and re-writing gives a powerful sense of progression.
April 19, 2016 at 7:00 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I used to use something similar for things that were weekly or less frequent. Without the day limit.

Left column today's date, middle what I did, sometimes with extra notes. E.g., "swept bedroom, moved all furniture in corner A", so next time I'll do corner B. Right column for next appropriate. (Not next due. That's too much pressure.)

It worked very well. Then I fell off the wagon and rebuilt a different one.
April 24, 2016 at 3:19 | Registered CommenterCricket

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