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The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home. Christopher Sommer
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Discussion Forum > Scheduling Tasks

Does anyone ever schedule their tasks? IE 2:00-3:00 complete XYZ. Any benefits to approaching your list this way?
February 23, 2007 at 22:16 | Unregistered CommenterPat Brown
Hi, Pat!

I don't think scheduling is very compatible with my methods, but it is a perfectly valid way of managing your time. If you do try to schedule, make sure to leave plenty of slack for a) interruptions and b) the fact that we always underestimate how long it takes to do things!

There is an excellent scheduling program called "Above & Beyond" which you might like to try out. You will find it at

February 24, 2007 at 12:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
why is scheduling incompatible with your methods, Mark? I schedule "loosely" ie do XYZ between these hours, free time after work time....etc....I don't think I'd get much done if I didn't have work corralled into time you simply tick off your list in open-ended environment? That's MUCH more discipline than I've got...I have to know when to work and when to play. Please tell me how you handle onerous tasks without time constraints to avoid procrastinating. Thank you in advance (I changed my handle from clogged like a diaper in a toilet becuase your DIT methods elevated me from that) but I have to constantly brow beat myself to keep pace.....LOL Sometimes I'm so stubborn that no breakdown works, I simply rely on mental abuse to keep the system afloat on my stubborn days.
February 26, 2007 at 19:20 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

I think if you adopt a Closed List method, then really a schedule doesn't have that much bearing. You obviously have to work around any fixed appointments. But if your focus is on clearing the list daily, it in itself imposes boundaries to the day. I just view any time I have once the list is complete is now free time. I just select one item off the list, do it, move onto the next. If it can't be done until later in the day for some reason, I just leave it until later in the day and do another item.

So really I personally don't see the need anymore to schedule anything apart from fixed appointments.

All the best

February 27, 2007 at 6:20 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Wynn
I think Steve has put it very well and I agree entirely with what he has said.

I don't think Pat's original question was about restrictions on one's working day (e.g. Lunch Break 1pm - 2pm; Stop Work 6pm). I have no problem with this, and in fact I generally recommend it for most people.

If I understood Pat correctly, his/her question was about scheduling an exact time for each item of work:

0900. Clear email
0945. Call Client X
0955. Write Report.
1030. Decide on timings for next meeting.
1040. Investigate new paper clip supplier.

and so on.

As I said in my first reply, this is a perfectly valid way of managing one's time but I wouldn't recommend trying it with my methods for the reasons which Steve gives. It can be particularly powerful in situations where you have more work in a short period of time than you think you can possibly get through. Scheduling it out in this sort of way can often take the stress out of the situation.

As for onerous tasks, there are plenty of methods given in "Do It Tomorrow" for dealing with procrastination.
February 27, 2007 at 20:42 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks for clearing things up Mark and Steve. I guess I totally misinterpreted the message! Mea Culpa. Mark, with all due repsect, I've tried each of your methods, but some days I'm just a stubborn ass. I use your 15 minute one the most and I use the breaking the resistance rule at times, but on particularly stubborn days, I still need to mentally act like a drill master on myself to use your methods! LOL! Ironically, I have less trouble working through debilitating pain than working through my stubborn days! But, again, I owe you much thanks becuase before reading your book my drill master had no effective procedures to direct me through! LOL!
February 28, 2007 at 4:50 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
If you like Above & Beyond, you may really enjoy taking a few minutes to check out TimeTo for Windows at I'd love to hear what you think of it.
April 9, 2007 at 5:27 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Thank you, David. It looks very interesting. I'll check it out. How does it differ from Above & Beyond?
April 9, 2007 at 9:27 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Planning is better for any time consuming tasks and will help us to keep on schedule the tasks. I use Replicon's rostering software ( ) to manage my regular schedule. It is a cloud-based application which integrated with quickbooks and this is my favourite application.
May 13, 2014 at 21:31 | Unregistered CommenterSai