I dont have time to be asking about this. I have stuff to do.
September 27, 2008 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Help me get uninsane with prioritizing, please. I have a list of projects that would thank you for it.

I am impossibly scatterbrained and undiagnosed as ADHD (I'm just waiting on my dr's appt to get meds to help me focus, so I'm sure this is part of my problem). I have tons of stuff that I need to do on a daily/weekly basis and I am having so much trouble keeping track of it and I feel so overwhelmed. Right now, I'm using Rainlendar's to-do list and it does show me what I need to do, and I categorize it in order of importance (#1, #2, etc). But it's small and I'm unable to customize it.

I just need something to help me get the most out of my awake hours.

Aside from the ADHD thing which is being handled, are there any websites/softwarez out there that can help me get a handle on my projects? Sort of making an excel spreadsheet that's color-coded and put it on my fridge, I mean?

OR if any of you have a system you use aside from a traditional list, I'd appreciate your suggestions. Thank you.
posted by damnjezebel to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Go low-tech before high. Start with a pen and piece of paper to get the hang of making lists and ticking off items when they're completed. Once you can do that, move up to the more fancy systems.
posted by nitsuj at 8:52 PM on September 27, 2008

Routines are your friend. Make a list of things that you need to do every day (wash dishes, exercise, feed dog). You can also plan time to check email or return phone calls. Make a daily plan and figure out when you are going to do each of these. Then make a weekly calendar for things that you need to do certain times every week. For example, I set aside an hour on one day to do my major grocery shopping trip and then a plan to stop at the store on the way home once a week to pick up more perishables before the weekend, plus another time to run errands (for me, a long lunch break once week) if I need to go to Target or the hardware store. So, now you have a structure for your week so you know when you need to be doing certain things.

Next, sort out your to do list to fit the time slots for doing them. Eg: your grocery list should be separate from your list of calls to return. One option is use a 3x5 card for each type of activity and add to the correct card each time you think of something you need to do.

If you want to get more complex, read Getting Things Done and then buy a copy of OmniFocus - works really well for me.
posted by metahawk at 9:47 PM on September 27, 2008

getting things done.
david allen. easy to find many brief summaries.saved my butt.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:43 PM on September 27, 2008

As for software, I've been using Tasks by Crowd Favorite for the last couple of months. While there are a few things I don't like, overall it's helped me get things back under control. You can host it yourself or they offer a hosted version. There's an online demo available. Development seems to have slowed, but it's a solid app that serves me better than anything else I've tried recently.
posted by friezer at 5:50 AM on September 28, 2008

I would suggest considering not using prioritization. The concept of priorities is strange when you think about it: why would you want to ever do something that you thought was a "3" or a "C" in importance? Either something needs doing or it doesn't. Remove as many things from your list entirely as you can. Then follow metahawk's advice...

My 'system' such as it is combines the Zen Habits version of GTD with Marc Andreesen's ideas: first thing in the morning, or the night before, write down on a 3x5 card the 3-5 most important things you really, really want to get done with the day. Draw a line underneath them. If you get anything else done, add it underneath the line, because it's really satisfying to do so. At the end of the day, throw away the card. The end.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:19 AM on September 28, 2008 [7 favorites]

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