To do lists

I’ve just received an email from a colleage, who reassures me that the task I’ve passed onto him is ‘on his to-do list’.

Does this reassure you?

I have a to do list – it’s lying under my laptop, about ten sticky notes and my trusty desktop calculator.  It has a list of my exam invigilation sessions for next week, and something that looks like “E2G – defeet

The latest RSS feed I’ve subscribed to is “Web Worker Daily” (I’ll blogroll him as soon as I’ve remembered how).  WWD switches from product reviews, and best practice for home workers.  As I usually spend one week day, one weekend day and up to two/three evenings a week in my home study, I think I can classify myself as a homeworker at least part of the time.

WWD has some interesting views on to-do lists, here, and here.   How many of his not-to-do’s do we do (everyone follow that)  in our daily life (reproduced below)?

1. Do not answer unrecognized phone calls
2. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
3. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time
4. Do not let people ramble—forget “how’s it going?” and embrace “what’s up?”
5. Do not check e-mail constantly—“batch” and check at set times only
6. Do not over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers
7. Do not work more to fix overwhelm—prioritize
8. Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7, seven days a week—make evenings and/or Saturdays digital leash-free.
9. Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should


1 comment so far

  1. Simon Stanford on

    Interesting post ( and RSS feed – tempted to add it to my list though maybe I should delete one to stop RSS overwhelm ).

    I might try to implement some of those not-to-dos though given that support calls are assigned to me via email it’s a bit tricky to avoid checking email all the time.

    As for tiny-to-do lists I found using a paper system and having the list written on the today page meant I had to re-write it each day which is part of my planning process each morning and enables me to re-prioritise and delete stuff.

    Plus if I get fed up of re-writing the same task each day I either do it or more usually ditch it.

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