I was quite looking forward to the Time Management task: I’m an ardent list geek fan & I invariably find myself frustrated at failing to cross as many tasks from my to-do list as I had hoped.
Kate suggests that rather than a simple list format, a 4 section grid is used assigning tasks high or low importance and high or low urgency. Usually I have both a handwritten to-do list on my desk, which frequently acquires a secondary “to-do today” section on days off, and a list on the Priorities app on my iPhone which allows assignment of a deadline date, and “starring” of tasks to signify higher priority. Since my iPhone is practically an extension of my hand, and it’s not particularly amenable to Kate’s suggested grid, I did wonder how I’d get on.
I found both pros and cons to the grid format. It doesn’t take too many crossed off items before it looks messy and gets harder to follow which means I itch to rewrite it. I also found that certain tasks ended up on the grid more than once (in different sections!) by mistake. I think the latter may have just been teething problems getting used to the different sections.
After a week or so of using the grid, I’ve actually become quite a fan. I found the grid helpful in prioritising tasks as I always glance down the high importance/high urgency section first, and once I’ve completed as many of those as I can, I move on to the low importance/high urgency box etc. I find I get far more satisfaction from crossing tasks off, rather than simply feeling frustrated by how many remain, as I know those tasks that do remain are lower priority. I’ve also found that the low urgency/low importance section is getting packed as I’ve included upcoming tasks such as garden chores, done so without feeling overwhelmed at the length of the to-do list, and since I do read through the whole grid regularly, perhaps they’ll actually get done! Miracles can happen, right?