‘The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.’ Albert Einstein
Creating legacy and your task diary
Creating legacy is strongly helped when you have good systems in place to organise your time. A couple of months ago I’ve discovered a handy little tool I like to call my ‘task diary’; it is now one of the main ways in which I manage my time.
The task diary is different from a pocket diary in that we don’t just use it for scheduling things like meetings etc. My task diary is A5 size, so much bigger (and thicker) than my pocket diary. Another big difference is that my task diary has one page for each day, whereas my pocket diary has the whole week spread over only two pages.
How to use your task diary
Here are five ways in which you can use your task diary to keep on top of your legacy projects:
1. Set yourself reminders. You can remind yourself to take some action on a particular date. This can be very useful for buying birthday presents etc. Most people have birthdays in their calendar, but what they don’t have is a reminder a couple of weeks beforehand to do something about buying a present or a card.
2. Follow up on other people’s promises. Helps you systematically follow up on work you have asked others to do. Whenever you send an email, leave a message, or ask someone to do something, make sure you put a note in your task diary to follow up after a couple of days. Do the same is someone promises to do something for you. Follow-up is essential because you will never get anyone to attach a higher priority to your work than they perceive that you are giving it yourself.
3. Follow up on yourself. Schedule regular checks for your projects to ensure that they are developing in the way you want them to. If you don’t pay attention to a project, it will either die or come back and bite you.
4. Plan thinking times. When you have an idea, schedule it into your task diary for whatever seems like an appropriate interval a review; the idea might look quite different by then.
5. Schedule small tasks. If you are beginning to build a backlog of actions, one way you can deal with them is to schedule a few of them each day over a period. That will mean that you no longer have a huge weight of unactioned things handing over the current day.
What about you?
Do you have a task diary? How do you use it? Do you find it effective? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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