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« Random Amendments for the Random Method | Main | A Thought About Procrastination »
Monday
Jul112016

Random Thoughts on the Random Method

Since we have been discussing the Random Method of time management in yesterday’s post and its comments, I thought I’d say a little bit about it in today’s blog post.

First of all here’s the link to the original post about the method.

Re-reading it as I am now after an interval of two and a half years, here’s a few remarks about it:

  • Setting the range of the Randomizer for the number of lines on the page is more important than I thought at the time.
    • If you set the Randomizer for a lower number you may not be able to jump the crossed out tasks on a page, which means you will be stuck on the page until every task has been done on it.
    • Setting the Randomizer for a higher number on the other hand means you may miss out a page altogether, which may upset the weighting towards earlier tasks.
  • Don’t let your list get too long. I recommend a maximum of the number of tasks you can work on during an average day. (Notice I say “work on”, not “do”). If you have more than that number the gap between writing a task on the list and working on it gets too long.
  • Remember that a random system is just that - random. It is not in any way taking your needs and priorities into account. There is no guarantee that any particular task will be worked on during a day, while some may be worked on several times.
  • For these reasons don’t use the system for very time-sensitive tasks. It is brilliant for despatching a lot of work in a very short time, but you can’t guarantee exactly how long that “short time” will be. Use a schedule instead for this type of task.
  • Remember the longer your list the longer the average time to reach any given task.
  • The list is weighted so that the longer a task has been on the list the more likely it is to get picked during a pass. Conversely the shorter the time a task has been on the list the less likely it is to get picked.
  • Don’t put tasks on the list that you aren’t fully committed to doing. If the system picks a task and you don’t do it, you are undermining the effectiveness of the system and you will start to experience procrastination with a vengeance.

Tomorrow I’m going to discuss some possible amendments to the system to make it even more effective.

Reader Comments (2)

The scary bit is "two and a half years". If you had asked me to guess I would have said a year at most!
July 11, 2016 at 11:40 | Unregistered Commenterskeg
It's always longer ago than you think!
July 11, 2016 at 12:38 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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