The following story shows how there is no right way to get to your tasks. Please know that I have been given my wife’s full blessing to write this…
The Wedding Gift
“Maya. Poor, Maya.”
I imagined her waiting, endlessly waiting… for a gift, a gesture of good will, a sense of good luck for her journey forward…
One morning, I arrived in my kitchen to find a reminder written by my wife on the white board attached to the our fridge:
It was a simple sign. The intent was clearly there. “Send Maya a wedding gift”. What could go wrong?
But already my heart sank. I thought, “This task won’t work. She isn’t getting that gift.”
My options as I saw them:
- Tell my wife that I didn’t think here method of writing a task was going to work
Ignore it and allow the fallout
Take pictures and put it in a newsletter
Well, with my wife’s blessing, here we are.
A few days later, the sign became this:
A week after, it became:
Finally, someone erased it and turned it into:
Well, my wife did indeed get a gift for Maya, and it was much better than anything I would have thought of.
But the path there!
So what happened? Why did I have a problem with this method of task writing?
The misconception she used was that you just need to draw more attention to the thing you want to do. Unfortunately, that usually creates a war between all your stuff. More sticky notes piled on top of each other, more notifications out-yelling each other, and a white board that becomes a subject of photography all conspire to get little done.
More specifically, the task:
- Did not have a clearly stated next action,
- Was nowhere near its point of execution, and
- Didn’t really have useful resources nearby like the internet, someone to get an opinion from, or an answer to whether there was a registry.
How did she get it done then? Frankly, I’m not sure. I think she’s a magician, able to remember ideas and tasks to amazing detail, and able to get more things done with hand-written scribbles on a paper calendar than I ever could.
If you have magic powers like her, you probably don’t need to think about how you arrange your tasks. But, if not, and you’d like to consider how to better arrange your tasks for more human minds like mine, consider either: