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Discussion Forum > Kanban the week

Just an idea.

Kaizen is the process of slowly improving, and Kanban is a method of using signs to help see what needs improvement. Here's my thought: record how you spend each hour of a week, organizr all that into categories. Next decide what you want to spend more or less time on and establish limits for each day or for thd week on these activities. Eg. Less time with tv more time with your xylophone.

Next week, record your activities as you go, and wstch as you go if hours are filling up or being left vacant. If you use up all your tv hours you're cut off. If your xylophone hours so farcthis week are below par, try to increase them today.

That's all.
June 22, 2018 at 23:32 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
While it's good to be mindful of how you are occupying your time, recording everything and categorising it sounds like a time-consuming and tedious exercise in itself, albeit a good one for avoiding doing things which one doesn't really want to do, and then using it to try and drive behaviour feels like it's the cart leading the horse.

I'd say if you're avoiding your xylophone then perhaps it's not for you and best left to someone who knows why it matters to them that they learn it.
June 23, 2018 at 1:45 | Unregistered CommenterChris
June 23, 2018 at 10:30 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I want to spend more time with my xylophone in front of the TV!
June 24, 2018 at 0:22 | Unregistered CommenterBernie
I tested something along this line using Mark's system of "decide what you're going to do, write it down, and do it"* for the source of the data. I was trying to see how I was doing with the balance of my activities in different life elements: physical, financial, mental, social, spouse, creative, and maintenance.

I took the list of everything I'd done and categorized it after the fact, then divided it into weeks so that I could see how many times in a week I worked on each category. So I didn't track TV or xylophone, but might count social TV watching as social behavior, or xylophone practice as creative behavior. If I couldn't categorize something (for instance, non-social TV), I didn't worry about it. I also allowed a behavior to be in more than one category - mental work to improve my relationships and creative maintenance were the most common double-category activities.

I wasn't trying to shape my behavior at first - I just wanted to collect a baseline of what proportion of time I spent on what element of my life. My theory was that after I had a baseline then I could figure out what, if any, changes I wanted to make.

I think I worked on it for about five weeks, plenty for a baseline, but I had a fair amount of friction in my data collection and I wasn't terribly certain about the value of it, so I didn't take it much further.

*I can't remember what you call that one, Mark. It's much more useful than I expected, and surprisingly good as an antidote to "I can never do enough" - probably because of the strong sense of agency it gives.
June 25, 2018 at 19:08 | Unregistered CommenterR.M. Koske
"recording everything and categorising it sounds like a time-consuming and tedious exercise in itself"

I was using an app for a few days on my iPhone called "Hours" (https://www.hourstimetracking.com/ is their web page about it.) It made it pretty easy to do. I did have to change the settings often because although I wanted to track to the minute, I wanted to visualize the bar at the time with 15 minute chunks.

I did make me more mindful in how I used my time while I used it. I started listening to biographies (on Audible) whenever I was driving, which I still do today, so that I could change the category of that period of time.
June 25, 2018 at 21:48 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
Just to clarify, there is a visualization of the time tracked so far today at the top of the screen, but the way that bar is displayed is sensitive to the setting for how granular you want to track your time (e.g. 1 min, 15 min) which is what it will round to when you start/stop an activity. That is what I meant when I (badly) wrote "I wanted to visualize the bar at the time with 15 minute chunks".
June 25, 2018 at 21:51 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
R.M. Koske:

<< I can't remember what you call that one, Mark. >>

It's never had a name. It comes from my first book "How to Get Everything Done"
June 26, 2018 at 18:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Toggl is pretty good. Two levels of (task, optional project), plus unlimited tags. Start, stop, pause. Lists recent tasks so you can restart recent tasks easily. Syncs to web, can edit on large screen in browser. Can change start/stop. Can enter entire task manually.

Wish List: When entering manually, auto-enter the next start time. Automatically add "unspecified" tasks if there are gaps between tasks.

I also have a fancy spreadsheet that does a lot automatically (love database math!), but it was slow to calculate, probably because I was too detailed.
June 26, 2018 at 22:11 | Registered CommenterCricket
I've used time tracking apps and spreadsheets in the past. It was useful, but time consuming.

I am intrigued by an idea in Douglas Hubbard's book, How To Measure Anything, subtitled "finding the value of intangibles in business." http://www.howtomeasureanything.com/

Throughout the book, he advocates that the purpose of measurement is to reduce uncertainty, and even one data point is enough to reduce uncertainty to a small degree. And sometimes, you need far fewer data points than you might think to get real valuable information.

Somewhere in the book -- unfortunately I can't find it now -- he talks about how to see where your time is going. You really only need a few random data points.

I'd love to see an app that does something like this:
1. Pings you at random times
2. Asks what you are doing
3. Asks if it is what you WANT to be doing
4. If not, asks what it is you want to be doing, and the reason why you aren't doing it (if known)

And make it really easy to enter data, especially repeat entries, like the Hours app and other apps do.

With just three or four data points, I'd bet you could see trends emerging, and start to identify common causes that take us away from what we really want to be doing.

As a diagnostic tool to evaluate our own time management, I wonder if this approach would give faster results than entering every single activity.

Anyone want to run a test? :-)
June 27, 2018 at 1:28 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
In terms of the recording effort, is what I proposed really different from one of the simplest systems described on this website?

1. Write what you will do next.
2. Do it.
3. Repeat.


Seraphim: I'm sure I've seen this app described before, at least the part about randomly asking what you are doing at any given time. No idea what that app is.
June 28, 2018 at 19:07 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I think so, because the simplest system is recording the things that you do, whereas what you suggested is recording every hour the things that you do plus categorising them. In terms of effectiveness I see what you're getting at with it but I've found that if you're letting a system determine whether you should or shouldn't be doing something then you've failed to understand the value in the thing you want to be doing, and it's understanding that value, not the system, which needs addressing. And once it is addressed the problem goes away by itself. That's what I was getting at in my first reply, I didn't explain it.
June 29, 2018 at 0:11 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Alan Baljeu:

In my reply to a current post in another thread http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/2715250#post2715327 I encourage the use of Urgency as the criteria for prioritization. In fact if one starts doing that you find out an awful lot about what value you are attaching to different things.

Just asking yourself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" will throw it all into stark relief.
June 29, 2018 at 17:28 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Seraphim,
I tried looking for iOS apps to do random alarms but the few that I could find had bad reviews.

I've heard of psychologists giving pagers to subjects, so that they could page them at random times. For example: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15328023TOP2904_08

"Student research teams investigated a typical week in the life of an adolescent by paging research participants at random times and asking them to complete an experience sampling form each time."

I found an ugly expensive watch http://www.watchminder.com/order/watchminder3 which is nice in that it vibrates instead of making a sound, but it appears to only have interval settings, not random.

I happen to have a FitBit Surge which can vibrate based on text messages. Then I could set up a script in AWS to send text messages at random intervals using SNS (notification service).

I'm starting to get an idea I could invent using a small arduino, a pager motor, and some batteries.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1500
https://shop.evilmadscientist.com/productsmenu/131
June 29, 2018 at 17:33 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
There's nothing particularly difficult about recording what you are doing. The method given in my first book "Get Everything Done" is as about as simple and as effective as you can get:

1. Write down the time
2. Write what you're going to do
3. Do it
4. Repeat
(Interruptions are indented with a start and finish time)

If you want to do lots of categorizing and analysing, then do it at the end of the day (and don't forget to include the time spent categorizing and analysing in your analysis).
June 29, 2018 at 19:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
> Just asking yourself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" will throw it all into stark relief.

I don't follow. Obviously watching TV is more urgent because my program is on now, and I can do the xylophone at any hour. (Arguments about the ability to watch later don't apply to all situations.)
However, quite possibly I should be attaching no importance to that TV program and it shouldn't even be considering it, especially when it turns into 24/7 TV watching, until some other urgent thing finally screams at me to stop watching that TV.
June 29, 2018 at 22:41 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan Baljeu:

I think you just proved my point.
June 30, 2018 at 0:19 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
What point?
June 30, 2018 at 17:50 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan Baljeu:

<< What point? >>

Just asking yourself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" will throw it (what value you are attaching to different things) into stark relief.
June 30, 2018 at 22:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I don't think it will. It will just generate a sense of "Oh god, I still have to practice the xylophone today, I suppose I better get on with it". That's not recognising the value of it, that's allowing your failure to have already understood the value of the xylophone to beat you over the head. It's stressful (a horrible deep-down sort of stress) and not a good route towards getting stuff done.

The question can be useful if you really do know the value but you hit a speed bump in learning, you have an impulsive nature and you're retreating into the television to hide from it. The cure for that is recognising your proclivity towards impulsive behaviour. I'd say that social media has made this problem much worse, acting as never-ending sunny retreat for those prone to impuslive behaviour.

If you're such a person, asking the question can remind you in the moment to return to the task, but it won't throw the value you are attaching to it into stark relief, you need that value and stark relief to already be there.
July 1, 2018 at 14:21 | Unregistered CommenterChris
I forgot to add (can't see a way to edit) that in returning to the task, you might also think of a new way to approach the speed bump to get over it. Eg getting a tiny bit of it done, or learning a tiny bit more rather than all or nothing, or finding a group that studies the same thing and joining it, and so on.

When you get a sense of not wanting to do something you already know the value of but which is causing some pain, try to tame your impulsivity to hide from it and recognise the difficulty as an indicator that you're making progress. If you're getting really stuck, stay away from the television and instead turn it into an opportunity to think of a fresh approach to that part of it. Even just thinking that is progress.
July 1, 2018 at 14:30 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Chris:

<< I don't think it will. It will just generate a sense of "Oh god, I still have to practice the xylophone today, I suppose I better get on with it". That's not recognising the value of it, >>

Exactly. It throws into stark relief that you are not recognising the value of it. Exactly my point.
July 1, 2018 at 15:16 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Chris:

<< When you get a sense of not wanting to do something you already know the value of but which is causing some pain, try to tame your impulsivity to hide from it and recognise the difficulty as an indicator that you're making progress. If you're getting really stuck, stay away from the television and instead turn it into an opportunity to think of a fresh approach to that part of it. Even just thinking that is progress.>>

Totally agree. Alan muddied the waters by changing mid-stream from a generic "watching tv" to watching a specific live program. These are totally different things from a time management point of view.
July 1, 2018 at 15:19 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Earlier you wrote:

MF: Just asking yourself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" will throw the value you are attaching to different things into stark relief."

That implies you understand those two things in your own life sufficiently to make decisions about them in the moment. I disagree that people will find themselves in this position if they ask that question. I think that you (by "you" I mean anyone) can play a trick on yourself where you conveniently 'forget' the value of one thing to justify doing something else impulsive as a way to avoid the thing you deep down know you 'should' be doing. This causes that pit of the stomach stress I described. This is an example of using an approach to beat yourself over the head. It's not productive or healthy.

MF: Exactly. It throws into stark relief that you are not recognising the value of it. Exactly my point.

That's not the same as above, you can't have stark relief of an absence of something any more than you can have one pitch black room brighter than another.

MF: Alan muddied the waters by changing mid-stream from a generic "watching tv" to watching a specific live program. These are totally different things from a time management point of view.

To be fair that was in direct response to you introducing the word "urgent". I think Alan's on the right track by considering the relative merits of the TV and the xylophone in this example, but going the wrong way by trying to create a system to beat him up if he fails to spend enough time doing the one that, on some level, he already knows he needs to be doing.

In my own experience that's down to the things I described – not having the values really explored up front, hitting a speed bump, an impulsive nature, and made worse, in my own case, by not getting enough sleep which in turn was not helped by eating poorly on the go. Paying attention to these last two helped reduce impulsivity and allowed speed bumps, etc, to be tackled with enjoyment rather than avoided with a sense of failure.
July 1, 2018 at 16:11 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Chris:

<< That implies you understand those two things in your own life sufficiently to make decisions about them in the moment. >>

Not so. You have to make the decision whether or not you understand them in your life.
July 1, 2018 at 17:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Chris:

<< MF: Exactly. It throws into stark relief that you are not recognising the value of it. Exactly my point.

<< That's not the same as above, you can't have stark relief of an absence of something any more than you can have one pitch black room brighter than another. >>

Yes, but they are not pitch-black rooms, are they? To be considering them at all means that one has already attached some value to them. The question is whether they value them enough, not whether they value them at all.
July 1, 2018 at 17:25 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
MF: Not so. You have to make the decision whether or not you understand them in your life.

You have to do that before you are able to ask yourself a question about their urgency and obtain a sensible answer back from yourself. Asking that question won't magically resolve what can be a very difficult and nuanced set of considerations about the various goals in your life. Nor does it deal with impulsivity which, as I said, allows someone to trick themselves into giving themselves the answer, regarding what they should be doing, which they want to hear. "The diet starts tomorrow", as always.
July 1, 2018 at 17:42 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Chris:

<< To be fair that was in direct response to you introducing the word "urgent". >>

We'd have to ask Alan whether that was the case. But whether it was generic watching or watching a specific live program does make a considerable difference to the answer.

Asking how urgent something is is not a method of "beating oneself up" as you claim, but a way of identifying the order things should be done in.

If Alan wishes to watch the Final of the World Tiddlywinks Championships live, and it starts at 7pm then it's perfectly legitimate to block off that time in preference to anything else. There's no question of priority. It's just got to be that way.

But if Alan has nothing specific he wants to watch then the answer to the question "Which is more urgent - Watching TV or Xylophone Practice?" has to be Xylophone Practice, especially if he is aware that once he starts watching TV xylophone practice will never happen that evening. Unless that is that he realizes learning the xylophone was just a whim and he really doesn't have the interest in it to do the necessary practice.

I actually thought I was agreeing with you!
July 1, 2018 at 17:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
MF: Asking how urgent something is is not a method of "beating oneself up" as you claim

I didn't claim that. I wrote that I disagree that the question throws your next tasks into "stark relief" or that it somehow illuminates the values you attach to those things. I wrote that if you're prone to impulsivity that you better have worked that out before you ask that kind of question. I wrote that without that you will have an uneasy sense that you're not doing the right thing, and that using that to beat you over the head in an attempt to somehow work out the right thing, is not productive.

MF: but a way of identifying the order things should be done in.

My experience tells me that it's not true. Example – I really should be practicing the xylophone but I've been putting it off and I have a sense I should get on it. But I can watch stuff on TV instead. Let me ask myself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?"

My answer is "I'll watch TV right now. There might be something on that I'll miss, but the xylophone isn't going anywhere. Besides, it's a bit late now. Yes, that's it, I'll definitely get stuck into that xylophone tomorrow".

Sorry, your question not only failed to work, it helped me to justify putting off the xylophone another day.

Let me ask another version of me the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?"

My new answer is "Oh god, TV's not that urgent really but this xylophone thing feels like I'm well behind. I really should make a start. But where to begin? Will this evening make any difference? No, not really, but I suppose I better get started.".

There I used the sense that TV was wasteful and non-urgent to beat myself up over not spending enough time on the xylophone. I may have got somewhere but it's not a healthy way to make progress on something and it certainly didn't bring the value of the xylophone into stark relief.

Meanwhile current me, the one you're talking with in here, decided some months ago to learn the xylophone. I know where I want to be with it next month and why. I'm looking forward to getting there. I want to spend this evening playing the xylophone regardless of what's on the TV. Urgency or asking questions don't come into it. I already know the value of my goal and that's driving my behaviour this evening.

Does that explain it now?

MF: I actually thought I was agreeing with you!

There's a theme which repeats in here between us Mark. You ask a question and I reply "My position is X" because I think that might be of interest to people and I'm curious to see others' positions. You then reply to tell me that actually my position is Y and flat out refuse to accept that it can be X. Then somehow I find myself needing to invest a load of time showing that Y isn't my position at all, rather than you simply taking whatever you find interesting about X, if anything, talking about that, and moving on.

I don't use a rules-based system. I don't have the overhead of rules. I try to ascertain the value in my goals and use that value to drive my actions in the moment. That's how I get everything done. It's as simple as that.
July 1, 2018 at 19:30 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Thanks Chris for carrying the ball forward for me. I am 90% in agreement regarding your responses to Mark's suggestions. I am still digesting Chris's alternative suggestions. In particular, the first bit of conversation is 100% apt:

Mark: Just asking yourself the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" will throw it (what value you are attaching to different things) into stark relief.

Chris: I don't think it will. It will just generate a sense of "Oh god, I still have to practice the xylophone today, I suppose I better get on with it". That's not recognising the value of it, that's allowing your failure to have already understood the value of the xylophone to beat you over the head. It's stressful (a horrible deep-down sort of stress) and not a good route towards getting stuff done.

Me: Agreed. It seems to me that waiting to get punched in the gut by rising levels of urgency will leave me in a constant state of urgency and never properly on top of things. It feels like it walks into the problem you long ago cited with prioritizing exclusively by importance, that the less-important things become urgent and you end up stuck chasing fires. Only in this case, the more-important things become urgent and you end up chasing much bigger fires.


Chris: << To be fair that was in direct response to you introducing the word "urgent". >>

Mark: < We'd have to ask Alan whether that was the case. But whether it was generic watching or watching a specific live program does make a considerable difference to the answer. >

Yes, it was. The thing is, these days of social media, there's always a live program being discovered that is time specific. These are always top urgency and rarely anything like necessity.
July 2, 2018 at 16:29 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I spent 5 minutes trying to understand Chris:

<< "Let me ask another version of me the question "Which is more urgent right now, watching TV or practising the xylophone?" >>

I misread that as "Let me ask another version of the question", completely not seeing there is a second "me", and then puzzling why this version of the question is identical to the previous and which was supposed to be different and how.

So anyway, the point seems to be, different mindsets answer the same question same situtation with different responses. But your current approach is to ask yourself about your commitments and simply follow thrgouh on that.
July 2, 2018 at 16:43 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan and others:

The reason why I think urgency is such a good pointer can best be illustrated by an example. One might hold the following conversation with oneself:

Q. How urgent is dealing with my email?

A. I have a rule that email must be answered within 24 hours.

Q. Why?

A. Because I think it's important that I'm seen by my clients to be fast-moving and efficient.

Note that the reason I give a high degree of urgency to email is directly related to the importance I give it.

If I take weeks to answer emails and frequently need chasing by my clients that shows the importance I AM giving to email (and to my clients too).

This is why the urgency I give to watching tv and practising xylophone is directly related to the importance I give them.

If I think watching the World Tiddlywinks Championship live, a sport which is very important to me, is more important one evening than practising the xylophone that one evening, fair enough.

If I think slumping in front of the tv watching nothing in particular is more important than practising the xylophone, then that shows the importance you actually ARE giving it.
July 2, 2018 at 23:26 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Yes Mark, I think this last response is closer to the nub of the issue.
July 3, 2018 at 7:44 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
The other problem with urgency is that if you have too many things to do then everything becomes urgent.
Perhaps a system needs something to control how urgent everything is.
Any thoughts on the best way to achieve this?
Is using stand out best, or some sort of date system? I tend to use dates, but interested in how anyone else defines the level of urgency.
July 3, 2018 at 11:27 | Unregistered CommenterMrBacklog
Mr Backlog:

<< The other problem with urgency is that if you have too many things to do then everything becomes urgent. >>

This sounds like a good place to repeat the points I made on a concurrent thread:

1. The question is not how important something is but whether you should be doing it at all.

2. The only sensible criteria for prioritizing is URGENCY

3. Urgency relates to when you need to START the task, not to when you need to finish it.

4. There are two types of urgent tasks. The first is tasks which are urgent in themselves. The second is tasks which have only become urgent because you haven't done anything about them before.

5. If you stick to using Urgency as your method of prioritising, you will avoid too many of the second type of urgent.

6. The best system for this type of situation is FVP with "What is more urgent than x?" as the question.

7. Finally, don't forget that even with the finest system in the world you can't fit a quart into a pint pot (which brings us back to point 1)

<< Perhaps a system needs something to control how urgent everything is. >>

It's a relatively difficult and slow exercise to define how urgent all your tasks are. And you'd have to be constantly revising it too.

However it's much easier to decide "Is x more urgent than y?" in the context of the moment, and that's what FVP provides you with - an algorithm to sort it out for you easily in the context of "What am I going to do next?" In practice, Fast FVP is faster without losing accuracy.

The most important points above are 1 and 7.
July 3, 2018 at 11:51 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Point 1 is understood. Now regarding your suggestion of FVP with a "more urgent" question:

Do you envision using point 1 as a gate to keep excess things out of the list, or do you envision these things falling out from the system do to never getting selected?

When you say FVP here do you mean any variety of FVP?

From your previous post I now understand Urgency to be a combination of when you need to start (continue) and what consequences arise from delaying and choosing something else. (before I strictly was thinking of the time I could afford to delay without detriment, discounting the amount of impact because I assumed that was the Importance criterion.). Am i now understanding you right?
July 3, 2018 at 21:29 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan Baljeu:

<< Do you envision using point 1 as a gate to keep excess things out of the list, or do you envision these things falling out from the system do to never getting selected? >>

More a case of keeping your commitments well weeded and not taking on more than you can deal with in the first place. All work stems from some commitment we have made - whether to ourselves or to someone else.

<< When you say FVP here do you mean any variety of FVP? >>

I mention FVP and Fast FVP. I guess it would work with No List FVP too, possibly best of all. Does that cover all the varieties? I can't remember.

<< From your previous post I now understand Urgency to be a combination of when you need to start (continue) and what consequences arise from delaying and choosing something else. (before I strictly was thinking of the time I could afford to delay without detriment, discounting the amount of impact because I assumed that was the Importance criterion.). Am i now understanding you right? >>

Remember that I've often said that commitments are as much about what you are not going to do as about what you are going to do. If you've made a commitment to learn the xylophone, then it's not a proper commitment unless included in it is that you don't do anything else during the times you've set aside for xylophone practice.
July 4, 2018 at 0:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Wait I thought FVP was for chosing the practice sessions for xylophone, but here you suggest designating set times for practice. Do you mean to suggest either way as good?
July 4, 2018 at 1:07 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan:

<< Do you mean to suggest either way as good? >>

Yes
July 5, 2018 at 1:58 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
@Seraphim, one random-ping time tracker is TagTime. I use it to know where my time really gets spent.

I've heard of others, but this one is mathematically pure, meaning that it's memoryless — sometimes you get pinged three times in quick succession, other times it might be hours. But over time, it converges nicely to reveal your priorities.

The default question is "what are you doing right now", but you could train yourself to also add tags for the other questions you wanted to track.

Also, it's a bit nerdtastic at the moment, but some folks are working on a friendlier version.

q.v. http://doc.beeminder.com/tagtime
July 29, 2018 at 16:58 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip
Vaguely Kanban related: -

One of the principles of Kanban is to limit work in progress. I guess the benefits are so you can focus on just a few things.

I notice I have been doing this for a while now - I use a very simple system of reviewing tasks the first time I see them and sorting them into these priorities: Do today, do next (max 15 work in progress tasks), do within a week, and do within 3 weeks. Tasks are then moved into the do next folder from the week and 3 weeks folders on an oldest first (bit like an automated "stand out" system) and all the thinking is done up front when I first see the task. There is always a max of 15 tasks in the do next folder to prevent overwhelm.

Do today folder is obviously the urgent things that must get done today or I would like to get done today first.

Interested in how others work for their task management if they have a similar Kanban type system and also approaches to stop overload. PS most of my tasks are in email so easy to move around folders as it is just a drag and drop.
July 30, 2018 at 13:04 | Unregistered CommenterMrBacklog
Thanks for the numbered urgency clarifications, Mark - very useful, even though I've been reading that other thread too.

MrBacklog - I like that system. I'm not currently planning to change my system, but that one appeals to me a lot. I'll save it for the next time I feel like a change might do me some good.
August 2, 2018 at 16:57 | Unregistered CommenterR.M. Koske
I'm finally implementing the original proposal with one change. I record time spent, but am not making rules, rather using the data as a guide for intuition.

It is absolutely painless to execute, thanks to technology: HoursTracker on my iPhone plus a module for my Apple Watch. (Second best was ATracker, and you wouldn't believe how many apps disqualified themselves by not letting me even really try them.) Using the app I created about 10 activities, mostly general to cover everything I do, but also including the specific things I want to track.

So whenever I switch modes I tap my watch and pick the new category. This might happen twelve times a day, and takes 5 seconds. Meanwhile if I ever wonder what time it is, I of course look at the watch. And if it says 3:44 and I am exercising when I'm not, I can correct to what I am actually doing – and when I started.

And the statistics come for free.
August 6, 2018 at 21:04 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Philip -

<< one random-ping time tracker is TagTime. I use it to know where my time really gets spent. >>

Thank you! I will take a look!
August 11, 2018 at 19:43 | Registered CommenterSeraphim