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I have to admit…my task list has fallen apart. It started out strong in October as I started to write out my “shit to do before the end of the year” list and by early November it exploded.
Between opening registration for 30 Days of Lists, making sure I didn’t have any pending items on my desk at work before heading out to Joshua Tree and Vancouver, moving, and taking on an additional freelance client, my well-intentioned task list and accompanying timeline have fallen to bits.
But you know what?
I have three things that help me get enough things done.
Kristin’s “what can I finish in 2 minutes?” advice
I remember skimming through Kristin’s post and seeing, “Whether you’re replying to an email or trying to cross off a chore, if it can be done in two minutes, do it. Don’t put it off. ” and knowing that I needed to add that to my toolbox. Usually, I go by Ali Edwards’ thought of, “What’s due next?” but when it comes to those shorts gaps in schedule (waiting to get picked up by a friend, letting my frozen pizza cool down a bit before diving in…) the 2 minute rule is a great way to keep me from focusing too much on larger projects that will take a long time to finish.
My favorite task app: Clear
While Trello is a super helpful app that I use fairly often, when I need a super bare-bones app to help me stay on track I go straight to Clear. The gradient coloring helps me visually see the most important tasks for me to tackle and it is easy for me to rearrange the tasks, as needed. After I make my lists, I am able to remove some items that can wait until after I get my ducks in a row and can focus on less important things (like ordering photos for Project Life. Honestly, that can wait)…Find an app or system (like a simple list on your fridge) works for you and tweak as you go.
A playlist to keep things moving
One of the days for the Spark ecourse is partially dedicated to creating a playlist to have on in the background while you work…I encourage the Spark participants to make sure the playlist they are creating is about an hour long and full of music that will keep them moving. I’ve been using Songza, which gives me access to a ton of “curated playlists” that fit different moods and activities. I am most fond of this one for late night computer work and this one for cleaning and packing. Find what works for you.
What do you do when life happens and your task list gets out of control?
Originally shared via email: August 7, 2014 // Updated for blog: December 15, 2014. Photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo. Lazy Sunday Pack.