Previously, I discussed reducing friction by using the simplest system that will get the job done (see Small Pieces, Loosely Joined). I briefly described (at the end) that I used a weekly checklist to get through my week.
Folks on Twitter were interested in learning more about how I use this checklist.
On Monday Morning:
1. Print Checklist
I print out a blank checklist and fill out the “Week of” date as well as each day of the week.
2. Fill Out the Backlog
I go through the previous week’s checklist as well as Jira (work stuff) and pull together a list of items I want to do this week. I include work and personal items, big and small tasks.
1. Review Backlog
I go through my backlog and add anything that is missing. I’ll pick out 1-3 important tasks (they are usually not trivial) and add them to today’s checklist.
2. Eat That Frog
As Brian Tracy recommends, start your day by working on your biggest, most important task. It should be the first item on your daily checklist. I use the Pomodoro Technique (see How To Get Things Done) and every block I complete I fill in a bubble. If I complete the task, I check it off in both the daily checklist and the backlog.
3. Update as Needed
As the day goes on, I may get assigned new tasks. Typically, I’ll add them to the backlog unless they are urgent, then they go on the daily checklist. Between blocks, or meetings I’ll review the backlog and do any small items that can be cranked out quickly and check them off in the backlog.