The excellent Dense Discovery newsletter had a link to an article about Getting things done with TODAY ▼ + SOON ▶. It is a good read about a simple yet effective method.

I too have an analogue daily worklist. And I do mean work as this only covers my day job. For me, it’s less about getting things done and more about managing feelings of overwhelm.

I have created myself a foldable booklet containing six days worth of daily plans. Each one contains space for :
- meetings
- need to do
- want to do/collected

As part of my end-of-day transition ritual, I fill in one of these for my next working day.

When I ran my day from a digital to-do list, I found it hard to visualise how much time I would have that wasn’t already spoken for. That led to me over-committing myself. By making any meetings part of my daily plan, I get a much clearer view of how busy my day is before I then plan in other tasks.

For me, the difference between need and want is based on urgency. ‘Need to’ items tend to have a rapidly approaching deadline. ‘Want to’s have a bit more time on their side.

The concept of ‘collected’ is to capture those items that appear during the day that I hadn’t expected but arrived nonetheless. These may be someone else’s priorities, things I’ve forgotten about, or caused by something external.

At the end of my day, as part of a transitional ritual, most unfinished items get moved to the next day’s list. Some may transfer to the digital to-do list that stores the longer-term projects and ideas.

Since introducing this, almost four months ago, I’ve been able to reduce the number of days where I feel overwhelmed by what’s on my to-do list. As ever these processes evolve as responsibilities and projects evolve, but right now it seems to be working well and helps me separate work from home. Given the current situation, anything that helps me do that is worth continuing with!