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Tracking the Mundane

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  • Tracking the Mundane

    I just read "Workflow Coaching in the Home" in the coaches corner and I really want to implement GTD at home as well as I do at work, but I still have one unanswered question. What do I do with all the mundane tasks that have to get done? I'm talking about laundry, vacuuming, testing the smoke detectors, etc. Where should all this be tracked, or should it? I know when I have laundry to do - the overflowing basket makes a nice visual reminder. I have already formed a habit of tossing in a load as soon as I get home from work and I do this regardless of whether it's on my action list or not. But on the other hand, I do feel like not having it on my list/calendar is like having an incomplete. Don't I need to take everything into consideration (home, work, personal, etc.) before adding anything else to my plate? If so, where do I put these items - on the calendar, on an @home list? At work, I put routine tasks on my calender to block off appropriate time to complete them and to serve as a reminder to DO them. Some of them I do daily, but I still block off the time so I know what I am committed to doing and approximately how much 'free' time is available. So should I do this at home as well? I already track big projects at home like "Purchase New Dining Room Table", but what about "Mop Kitchen Floor" - a task I try to do every week or so... Anyone successfully tracking this stuff at home? Are they calendar items or action items? Thanks for your advice![/url]

  • #2
    I do track all the mundane stuff that I would forget otherwise on my Ahome next action list. I make most of these repeating To-Dos that don't appear on my Palm until they are due. So, change air filters for example pops up every 3 months, I believe. When I do it, I check it off, and then it does not bug me for another three months.

    I use Datebk5 for this, but there are lots of ways to do this.


    • #3
      I have a weekly repeating item on my Palm called "Weekly Chores". In the attached note, I list everything I need to do (i.e.: refill cat litter, sync palm, pay bills, etc.) I have another monthly repeating task called "Monthly Chores" which includes stuff like replace furnace filter.

      That's enough to take those things off my mind.

      When the stuff itself is enough of a visual reminder (i.e. a full laundry basket), I wouldn't waste time entering it as a task or an appointment. The purpose of GTD is just to let you get stuff off you mind when it's not time to do it, and make sure it gets in front of your face when it is time.


      • #4
        Tracking the Mundane

        In David's seminar and the getting things done fast recording of a seminar David talks about whant kind of things need to be written down. He talks about brushing your teeth. When you were little you were reminded constantly now you just do it because of the scuz factor. Some people have to do it several times a time some less ,depends upon their toleration of the scuz factor.He says that some things you need to have on your list some are just engrained. It differs from person to person.
        For some people housekeeping chores are so engrained that they are just done. For the housekeeping challanged a list is important. I have a short list of morning and evening routine. Some things are basic and then I try to do something every night so I dont have to spend all Saturday doing household stuff or not doing it and not having any coffee or the dry cleaning I didnt pick up on Monday morning. Not a good way to start the week!


        • #5
          Tracking the Mundane

          For all those repeating mundane tasks, I just use my tickler folders (see the "Tips/Tricks" section on this Web site for instructions).

          I make an index card that has 1) the action, and 2) the day or interval to tickle again. For example, "Take out trash" and "Tickle Tuesdays". When I empty my tickler folder for the day, I simply place the card on my desk. When I have completed the action, it goes back into the tickler folder where I want to see it next time.

          If things change, and I don't get to it, it sits there and reminds me the next morning. Fast, easy, flexible, and it keeps them off my mind until I need to see them.