How to Organize Your Tasks
What is organization?
And why take all the time talking about it and trying to do it and making it real and working on creating it?
If you read around the interwebs, it would seem people believe organization is about bins or storage. Yes, bins are fun. But they like the icing on the cake.
(Yep, I just compared organization to cake. YUM!)
The purpose of organization is to create a system for finding things again.
That means that for the most part, you're going to group things by association & purpose. For example, if you make blended drinks for breakfast, you'd store all the things needed to make those drinks together. And if you have a group that needs to be refrigerated and one that doesn't, then storing them one in the fridge and one in the cupboard is best, even though it's 2 different spots.
This is a great start to organization, but what about tasks, thoughts, brain space? How do you organize those things?
The thing about thoughts & tasks (which can manifest best in the form of written notes) is that they need to be grouped by purpose & association, but how does one determine the 'purpose' category of a list of tasks?
That's when I recommend grouping things by date & time.
The date you need to do something is a task's most important attribute. And the purpose of selecting a specific date is to decide what will be done and what won't be done on that day.
So, to organize tasks, decide the date it will be done.
Then, on that date (or the night before), decide a framework for the time the tasks will be done.
You're sorting tasks according to purpose & association, so you can find them again.
Once you have a system established for grouping your tasks you can decide where to keep them - task list? Calendar? Notebook? Phone app?
Caution: if you hate the tiny keyboard in your phone, don't use a phone app. If you hate handwriting, don't use a notebook. If you hate manual input, use a voice recorder on your phone to translate to text... do what works WITH your preferences, not what you think will be 'best'.
Whatever it is, choose something that will be easy to use, is available on all your devices (or can be easily carried everyone), and doesn't cost much. If it's difficult to learn or expensive to maintain, you won't keep it up.
- Group tasks by date, then by time
- Plan a review system, so you're looking at that day's tasks in advance of that day
- Ensure your system for calendaring your tasks is simple and tailored to your preferences
And, as always: start with one step, then another, then another. Don't worry about overhauling the whole system at once if that's too overwhelming. One step is enough for now.