One job list is best. Does everyone agree? It means you can focus. You don’t have multiple lists to check and coordinate. However, as with so many things in this life, it’s rarely as simple as that.

I use Wunderlist ( Now Microsoft To Do) to keep track of reoccurring tasks or projects that need tasks doing over a number of months. I used to then write down things that needed doing in my notebook and shape these into job lists. It was a bit haphazard. I’d put off doing something so it would appear on numerous lists. It was hard to keep track of what was outstanding. I remade lists a lot. Why actually do something when you can just spend time planning when you might do it?

A new approach

So in a bout of efficiency, and also because I’d rounded up all the random tasks and there were 83 of them, I decided on a new approach.

I created a lovely grid with a column for each day and tasks assigned to each part of the day. Morning and evening had repetitive tasks (play the bass guitar, wash up, prepare breakfast, eat dinner) influenced by my experiments with doing things earlier in the day. The centre part of each column had tasks unique to that day. I had an idea that I would allocate a set amount of time to each allowing me to allocate depending on how busy my schedule was. However that never really happened. Instead, I just try not to fill all of the boxes on every single day.

This seemed like a brilliant approach. I spent a bit of time each Sunday creating the planning sheet for the following week. It was great that I only had to look at one piece of paper. I could see what I had planned for the entire week. But it was still easy to make myself focus on the appropriate section for the time of day.

And another…

And then a few weeks back I found myself pulling out 3 cards and copying morning, daytime and evening tasks onto them. Followed by doing the same the next day. And the next.

It would seem that I am not satisfied with one job list. That I greedily want more than one. Part of me thinks it seems logical to focus on my grid sheet. I enjoy the time I spend planning on Sunday afternoons. I’m doing much better at not overestimating what I can achieve. However, I also enjoy the time I spend planning each day and rewriting my job list. Plus there’s double satisfaction in ticking a task off on both lists.

So what will happen next? Will I add a third and fourth layer to my list-making? Or will one of my current lists fall from favour? That’s the thing with systems. They change all the time because of life changes all the time. So for the moment, I’m seeing this as a lesson in going with the flow.