Breaking ToDos into smaller chunks
Just a quick post as I'm conscious I want to procrastinate [Normy stops to put timer on, just in case!] but I don't want to lose this thought.
I've always had a Big List that I work from, but just lately I've been grouping the ToDos into groups of three. My Big List is organised using the Covey categories Urgent/Important; Urgent/Not-important (not got any); Not-Urgent/Important (this is where most of my Fun things are); and Not-Urgent/Not-Important (none - binned them). So I'm nibbling through the list mostly top to bottom, focusing on the ToDos in the following way: a 'Stinky Thing', a 'Neutral Thing', and a 'Fun Thing'. The Stinkies are either categorised as such because I either just don't like the task but need to do it to reach a goal I ~do~ want, or because they are oppressive in some way - they make my heart sink. The Neutrals again help me towards my goals, but I don't have strong feelings about them either way. The Fun Things make my heart sing, and feel like a reward for doing the other jobs. They also give me a break, and allow me to gather resources and energy for the next three. It's working well.
I've noticed a couple of things:
*Only having three things in front of me stops me feeling overwhelmed. My Big List has literally thousands of things on it (gets it off my mind so I don't forget - a relief in itself), and I decide what from that list I'd like to focus on just for today. Then from the today list I just choose the top three (based on a combination of importance and stinkiness - they often seem to go together).
*Things change category. I wasn't expecting this. Things that were Neutral yesterday that I didn't get to, I really want to do today, so they've moved into the Fun category. Now that the Stinkiest, most urgent and important things are done, the other important things are looking far less Stinky. This means my entire list is looking a whole lot more pleasant, not only because I'm getting rid of the 'worst' things first (expected), but because what's left is having less of a negative emotional reaction (a pleasant surprise!).
I'd be interested to hear of other's little experiments and share some more ideas. Beepers gone - time to go shopping! (That's still pretty Stinky, LOL!) ;)