Friday, 26 July 2013

An Excel-lent To Do!

I heard Alex Salmond being quizzed once, years back on Radio 4's Today programme.  'But I thought that you said that you'd never stand for the leadership of the SNP,' said the interviewer, probably John Humphries.. 'I've changed my mind' said Alex.  'I'm allowed to do so'.    Well said!

Previously I mentioned that I'd banished To Do lists from my repetoire of personal management tools.  Well, guess what?  I've had a change of heart as it is my prerogative.  Yesterday I decided that I needed a list at work that changed responsively to the ever changing priorities that I have working in a mental health team where a crisis can occur at any time during the working day and blow my best laid plans out of the water.  In such circumstances it's easy to forget where you're at with everything. Here's what I set up, and yes I did it in the middle of an emergency just so that I wouldn't forget all the other stuff  that I had to put on hold.

I opened a spreadsheet and named it.

Then  I added in all the things I need to do that are not client related in the order that I want to do them.  It's funny how they always have to take a back seat!

Then I added in the clients that I need to work on, in the order of urgency.  You'll note that there's none of this breaking down tasks into small steps or detailing the job here.  This is a quick and dirty system and anyway  I know what needs doing!

When  something else comes up I can add it to my list by inserting an extra line and giving the job the priority it deserves.

And if a job becomes more urgent I can move it up the queue.

And once a job's done, it just gets deleted and its row is removed. Then it's on to the next thing at the top of the list.

So that's it.  No fancy deadline dates, degrees of priority, breaking things down into inordinate steps etc., etc.  You'll know the score if you've ever used any other system! 

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