Earlier, I decided to temporarily stop starting new projects to allocate resources to where I can make the greatest positive impact, and I reviewed my progress in this feat. This is another status report.
Advice 4: Fill (Only) Tiny Time-Gaps with “Candy-Tasks”
Following my advices in the last status report, here’s another observation I made. Because of the sheer number of tasks and projects I face, there are a lot of activities I can choose from to make progress. I could concentrate on one of the more complex learning projects (which would require a fair amount of alone-time and concentration), I could “pre-think” what to do with notes I took from several talks and conferences (which would require only a few minutes and could be done from my couch) or I could “snack” on little tasks that only require me to do a short, physically immediately doable action. There’s so much work to choose from - isn’t that great? It sure is! :D
I always kept some small tasks that didn’t require much setup for those 5 minutes everybody has between two appointments, or while waiting for the tea water to boil, or just before going to bed. It’s kind of a “snack reserve” that you can pick from when in a hurry. Like a pile of candy bars, it’s unhealthy to eat all of your sweets at once. If there’s a quite stretch of time available, use it for the right tasks like programming or studying. Only pick a candy-task if it’s really the only thing you could achieve with the available resources.
I realize this principle is described in much greater detail in the fabulous Getting Things Done. And it’s really helpful now.
As expected, the Javaland conference I attended this week took a lot of time and energy. Hence, there are no breakthroughs:
- 26 tasks and projects in todo.txt: Only 6 tasks left! This list was one of my first choices to work on because it’s supposed to only be an inbox.
- 25 tasks and projects in an OneNote page regarding my main project: I finished a lot of small items here and rearranged the rest, so that there are only 7 projects left now. I added reminders to my calendar so that I will keep on working on those projects to finally get rid of them.
- 1 OneNote page that was originally designed to be a tracking list for my projects: Gone! Turns out it really didn’t bring me any value and the content it already had was only thoughts that could be deleted.
- 16 projects in an OneNote page for one of the teams I’m supporting: No progress here yet.
- Android-Phone-Project: No progress here yet.
- 17 tasks and projects in a list in my phone: Gone! I finished all the tasks it contained. Now, this is a real inbox again (which feels great!)
- 30 tasks and projects in my main project list in my organizer: No progress here yet. Clean desk: Still open.