how i get things done without (too many) things slipping through the cracks, part ii: the inner workings of my toDo system

if you haven’t already done so, you can read part i (5 essential habits for my toDo system) here. to recap, these are five key habits/ skills i had to build in order to design my toDo process:

  1. work off of one, single task list.

  2. write tasks as action items.

  3. make tasks specific.

  4. build planning time into the day.

  5. keep the planning fallacy in mind when planning.

while part i focused on the main components of (what i think is) a good task management system, this post focuses on how i actually implement my system.

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how i get things done without (too many) things slipping through the cracks, part i: 5 essential habits for my toDo system

over the years, i've fine-tuned how i manage my toDos at work. my process isn't flawless, but it's robust that i’m genuinely surprised and confused when i’ve unexpectedly dropped the ball on something (doesn’t happen often). this post (part i) focuses on the main components of (what i think is) a good task management system. part ii will focus on how i actually implement my system.

to me, a good task management system is one that helps me declutter my brain, use my mental resources more efficiently, and minimize the amount of time/energy wasted (both mine and others'). it also allows me to deliver on time, get an accurate picture of my workload, and keep my promises -- all of which helps instill others' trust in me. more trust = more autonomy = more happy gail.

there are a few key habits/ skills i had to build in order to design my toDo process.

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how i (don’t actually) hold so much in my brain

once upon a time, some people on my team discussed their strategy for retrieving information about all sorts of things.

v: when in need, i always ask siri. and if siri doesn’t know, i ask gail.
k: seems like he’s got the order wrong.

i’d earned a reputation for being able to hold a crazy amount of stuff in my brain because whenever people came to me with a question, i almost always had an answer ready for them within 1-2 minutes.

even though it’s common practice to take notes in the workplace, i’ve noticed that most folks don’t have a reliable system for actually utilizing those notes.

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