Email and to-do lists

Having read through my emails after Christmas, I created a sub-folder with the items that needed more than a one email reply.  These varied from needing to get figures from someone else, to writing a whole new proposal for a student competition.

Three (well four, I did most of the reading on Sunday when at home) days later, how many of these have I completed?

It’s a whole number between -1 and +1.

I think my mind has simply put these in the metaphorical kitchen draw.  I’ve tried pulling an item out, writing it down in front of me and trying to complete it, but then email pings (when I’m at my desk, it’s worse when I’m teaching for three hours a day for the next three weeks, then invigilating in the afternoon), and something even more urgent comes in.

I did email the major recipient and ask which of the seven requests she had made were the most urgent.  I’ve had no reply after two days, guess she’s as busy as me!

So I don’t think simply selecting an email and moving it to a new folder is an effective list management technique for me.  I have looked at Gubb as an alternative, and over Christmas created loads of to-do lists there, but I’ve not logged on for a week, making me think that’s not going to work either.

Apart from just biting the bullet, and not looking at another email until you’ve completely finished with the existing one, does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with a backlog?


1 comment so far

  1. Simon Stanford on

    Well you could try to create your todo list and reminders and then at least you’ll get an active reminder in your email , nagging you to open the kitchen drawer.

    Though it could get confusing if you copy sandy in on an email sent to sandy at your work :o)

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