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« More Thoughts on the Random Method | Main | A Simple Amendment to the Random Method »

A Refinement on "Dot and Do"

In yesterday’s post I suggested that the “dot and do” approach could be done anytime

However I think a more structured approach would be helpful and so I suggest something on these lines.

When moving to a new task, use the Randomizer to select the task as usual

Review any tasks marked as time-sensitive which lie between the task you have just finished and the task which the Randomizer has just landed on.

For example your Randomizer throws an 18. You have two time-sensitive tasks marked, one at 5 and one at 13. What do you do?

  1. Dot the task at 18.
  2. Examine the task at 5 and decide whether it should be done now.
  3. If yes, do it. If no, leave it where it is.
  4. Examine the task at 13 and decide whether it should be done now
  5. If yes, do it. If no, leave it where it is.
  6. Do the task at 18.
  7. Throw the Randomizer for the next task.

One word of caution. Mark tasks in this way very sparingly. Remember that whenever you increase the priority of a task, you are at the same time reducing the priority of everything else. So keep it for when it’s really needed. Don’t do it as a matter of routine. The basic rule is that the Randomizer should select the next task to be done whenever possible.

Reader Comments (2)

Mark, one question about the "dot and do" approach in both this post and your last one. If you recommend a sparing use of this, and only for time-sensitive tasks, am I right to think that you don't recommend it for started-but-unfinished tasks? I ask this because I'm tempted to use "dot and do" for such tasks to encourage a "little and often" approach. But I take it you think "little and often" will be sufficiently addressed just by limiting the total number of tasks, and keeping that number to a manageable size? (Maybe I should add that it was the "little and often" approach to unfinished tasks that attracted me to your "random ammendment" in that post from a few days ago.)
July 16, 2016 at 11:48 | Unregistered CommenterDan H
Dan H:

I'm still experimenting with all this, so I can't give definite answers. Try it out and see how it works for you.
July 17, 2016 at 7:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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