It should be the objective of everybody to continually improve who they are. Both professionally and as a person. For me an obstacle to doing this has been the lack of a good tool. I've tried writing TODOs on paper and various online tool. It just hasn't clicked for me. Then my girlfriend showed my how she structures it, It tried ti and it almost worked. By making some modifications I ended up with a system that really works for me. Before I dig into the details
Lets Start With the Limits
Okay. So first of all, it needs to be really simple for me to lookup outstanding tasks and to complete them. If there is an obstacle to doing this, even a small one, it's going to reduce the likelihood of me using the system. Secondly, it needs to be flexible in the short term. My life isn't on rails and some days I have the ability to do lots of things and other times I can't do a lot. If the system relies on me doing specific things at specific days then it won't work. Thirdly, It needs to be repetitive. To structure and improve on processes' I need to do them often and not end up with long time between each execution. Fourthly it needs to handle tasks I only need to do rarely. If the system doesn't cover everything, then some things will end up slipping through and I will lose confidence in the system.
On my mobile, I have the great list tool Wunderlist installed. On it I have a weekly TODO with 35 (as of today) tasks I need to accomplish during the week. These are things like weekly cleaning tools, podcasts I listens to and tasks that help me become better in the ways I seek to be better. This includes things like writing, performing work on personal projects or meditation.
To handle irregular tasks I have rotation items. These cover multiple items of which one is in rotation for this week. For instance I have my sysadmin rotation, which covers four tasks I perform for all of my sites. One task each week. These are
- Updating all used modules and deploying the site
- Checking for certificates running out, DNS, sitemap, robots.txt and redirects to unified http(s)://(www.) version of site
- Check for crawl errors, 404s or other search console errors
- Make development machines have nothing uncommitted in any project
Since the list is weekly, it means it is quickly repeated and so I naturally start to develop rythms for the tasks. This improves productivity and happiness. And with the list I ensures that I do not forget anything. It also prevents sudden overloads of tasks.
Generally It is a super helpful system to me and I hope you found something in this post that you might enjoy :)