Previously I did introduce simple daily productivity habit form and User Guide for it. The idea of the form is to help you to focus daily to your big goals.
Same time I announced that I won’t keep any kind of to-do list anymore. The question is if you don’t have backlog or to-do list. What do you do when you have incoming items?
We all have lots of incoming stuff. Things that we need to do and if I don’t have any kind of to-do list, how I will keep track of the things that need to be done?
That is the difficult part, but like I said – I don’t think to-do list serves the purpose. It becomes storage of random things, that won’t help you to achieve your goals.
“Later”, “maybe” or “someday” categories for tasks are already statements for non important work. Keeping a list of non-important items is unnecessary. You should not do anything unimportant, except for fun and for fun things you don’t need a list.
If the incoming item is important it should fall to one of the three categories:
1. The item will stress you or is in your mind until it is done, which means it can be added to “Worry-list”
2. It can be the ONE thing for the next day if it is important enough
3. If it is one of the mandatory administrative routines you can do it AFTER the one thing for the day is finished. I don’t write these items to any list either. When I am finished with the focus work. I will just look what non-important work there is to be done. I am sure there are enough reminders around me to do it.
With goals in my mind and with focus to ONE thing. I consider all incoming items as interruptions.
Interruptions need to be handled Pomodoro style and they can be “managed” in the forms last row.
Someone comes in to your room and asks your help. You are in the middle of your focus work.
You need to explain to the person that you are doing something else and you don’t have time for him now. Tell him that you will contact him later or if you have the luxury you can delegate or ask him to go to someone else.
After he is gone. You can mark interruption to the last row of the form. X = if you were able to avoid the interruption like described in example and O if you need to interrupt your work completely.
Your priority is always protect your focus time and the one thing. The worst thing to do is interrupt your focus.
Incoming items are the most difficult part. They are interruptions for your goals. You need to be mean and you need to be tough if you want to achieve something. Incoming items are noise which deserves the lowest priority no matter what.
The approach is a bit drastic, but only by serving others and without protecting your time and work, you will achieve less and you will become more stressed.