I live for lists. Ian makes fun of me for the epic lists I make before family trips – lists of what to pack for each family member, lists of what to do to prep the house for our departure, etc. I make lists for professional tasks, personal things that need to be done, books I want to read, TV shows to watch, links I want to revisit… it goes on and on. I have to write it all down so the information isn’t clogging up my brain. It’s part of a method I learned a few years ago called Getting Things Done.
I keep my everyday to-do list in an app called Todoist. I have it on all my devices, so I can access it from anywhere. I also have a Todoist “skill” setup with my Amazon Echo smart speaker, so I can say, “Alexa, add an item to my to-do list” and then dictate it. All the tasks end up on the Todoist to-do list, and if it’s not there, it’s not gonna get done.
Jocelyn K Glei, the host of the Hurry Slowly podcast and author of a bunch of great books on creativity and productivity, has a weekly email newsletter I enjoy. In this week’s email, she included a link to a blog post proposing a 2-column to-do list. The idea is to make an “easy” column and a “hard” column. Things like “book doctor’s appointment” go in the easy column, and they can be accomplished when you have low energy or just a few spare moments. Things like “write proposal for new project” go in the hard column, because they require time, focus, and energy.
I thought the 2-column concept sounded like a cool idea, but then I realized I sort tasks this way already. I put the hard (aka important) tasks at the top of my list each day, and try to hit those first thing in the morning when I have the most energy. Then I backload my to-do list with the other things, knowing I won’t go for those until later in the day when I’m feeling drained.
How do you keep track of your tasks and lists? Do you have a specific methodology?