Since I last wrote I’ve been testing out various types of No-List systems because none of the ones I tried proved entirely satisfactory. You can see a full list of them in the Discussion Forum.
The one which I feel has worked best so far is No-List FVP. That’s rather an ungainly title derived from its descent from other TM systems.
Ungainly title or not, the method is simplicity itself
- Write down a task you want to do.
- Ask yourself “Is there anything I want to do first?”
- Write that down on the next line.
- Repeat the process until you get “No” as the answer to the question.
- Do the end task on the list.
- Before you do the next task (i.e. the last active task remaining on the list), ask the question again and repeat as above until you get no answer to the question.
- Continue this process until there are no active tasks left on the list. Write down another task you want to do and start the whole process again.
- Repeat ad infinitum.
POINTS TO NOTE
1) It’s perfectly ok for there to be a “No” answer to the question when you’ve written down the first task. In this case just do the first task and then write down another one. If this results in writing down tasks one by one and doing them immediately, that’s fine.
2) You can build up to a difficult task by entering it as the first task and then gradually working back to it. This is quite an effective technique for getting moving on something. When deciding what to write as your new first task, it’s a good thing (though not compulsory) to select relatively difficult and/or important tasks. The more trivial tasks will get done as “fillers”.
3) It’s good to end the working day with no tasks remaining on your list. So try and select the tasks you write down towards the end of the day with this in mind.
4) A good method is to start the list initially with the three or four major tasks/projects that you want to take action on during the day. You need to make sure that they are in the reverse order to that in which you want to do them.
The advantages which I’ve found with this system are:
- You can sketch out the main achievements of the day in advance.
- You can do tasks in the most efficient and effective order
- You have a sense of where you are going with the day
- You make the best use of the time available
- Procrastination drops to virtually nil.
Which is your favourite no-list system?