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What to do with B-list items that will become A-list items i

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  • What to do with B-list items that will become A-list items i

    I feel like I Need to review ENTIRE task list daily.
    Right now weekly works- but then I would need a priority section, for things during the week.
    Right now I have 2-day section which really means, B-list stuff for this week that doesn't have to happen on any particular day.
    But, it also seems like if I don't schedule it to happen on a particular day then it doesn't get done.
    But, I don't want those things mixed up with the things that ABSOLUTELY MUST happen on that day.
    But, then my B-list things end up getting avoided until they become A-list things.

    Do I have to keep blocking off time on my calendar and re-writting those B-list things in to the calendar?

    It seems like I have a hard time focusing on the most important things. Like I get bogged down doing little things that are helpful and need to be done, but not the big pay-off items. Like I have so many B-list items, which are promises to people and clients that I can't afford to miss, but they aren't A-list yet. For example, I don't need to follow-up with a customer today, but in three days time it will suddenly be an A-list item. Then, I have to move from Tasks to Calendar!

    Too many things to do!

  • #2
    Maybe put them all on the A list, but put a star next to the "A" items? That way they won't be "out of sight, out of mind?"

    Or maybe you are over-promising. I do it too. People say, hey, you've got 10 hours each day to do stuff, why doesn't it all get done? My project will only take half an hour. Well, I don't have 10 "highly productive" hours -- I run out of bandwidth, as David elegantly puts it, not out of time. I wish I could say to clients, "sure, I'll do your project today, as long as you are comfortable with me doing it when I should really be filling my stapler because my brain is approximating that of a hamster!"

    Another thing I sometimes try is to discipline myself to only put 1 item on the @Today list. If I finish that item, I can cruise through the lists again and choose another. That way at least I'll consider all the B items again.

    Another idea that came up in DA's seminar lately was to designate a day or time to do non-urgent work. (Which is pretty much what you said.) Just shut the door or go to someone else's office or something, and consciously avoid the urgent and instead knock out all those B items. Early in the morning is good for me to do that, before the phones start ringing.

    I have this problem too, thanks for verbalizing it and prompting me to think about it!


    • #3
      I put Date-specific items in Calendar. I have a This Week List that I review continuously. That is my NA list. I have a Later list and a Maybe list that get reviewed weekly. Your post made me think that what I need to do is: anything left on This Week at the end of the week should be promoted to Calendar in the following week. Does this make sense?