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From: Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com>
To: Bastien <bzg@gnu.org>, emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
Subject: Re: On using to-do lists efficiently
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2021 12:22:40 +0800	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87wnsomk4v.fsf@localhost> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <87o8e1uiht.fsf@bzg.fr>

Bastien <bzg@gnu.org> writes:

> Slightly offtopic but I sat down this week-end trying to grasp with
> very few words what I learned on how to use to-do lists efficiently
> over the years, and here it is:

I am wondering if we can incorporate such or similar tips into Org mode
manual. Similar to Elisp manual section info:elisp#tips, Org mode may
introduce recommended usage of Agenda, TODO-lists, and other major Org
mode components.

Similar idea was also discussed in

> I'm curious if this resonates with your experience.

I have very similar experience, though I have several subtle comments on
some points you raise.

> Write less to-do items and more notes.

Having less TODO items is really helpful. At some point, I found myself
cherry-picking tasks that are easy to do, but not important in place of
tasks that I really needed to do. Moving "wish to" tasks away from
visibility really helps to focus as the size of todo-lists grows to
thousands of tasks.

Yet, I found it helpful to have few "wish to" notes as actual tasks. When
you want to take a short break or have some free time it is handy to
have some "light" task within reach. Otherwise, social media tends to
fill all the free time slots.
I have a setup to quickly move groups of "wish to" tasks between notes
and tasks depending on my workload.

> Your to-do list should be a list of things to do, not to remember

While I generally agree with this, removing things to remember from
visibility most often results in forgetting them, especially as the
number remember notes grows to thousands. Thousands of notes are hard to
review regularly. I find it useful to bring such notes to my attention
from time to time using spaced repetition.

> don't mix notes and tasks

I agree with one exception - notes on literature/articles. For my work,
I need to deal with a lot of reading. It is common that some book may
need to be read multiple times looking for different kinds of
information. Having common summary notes right in the "reading" task is
quite helpful to get started, especially if the previous reading time
was months ago.

> Write precise, concise, atomic tasks

This is a great suggestion. Vague tasks tends to be ignored or
postponed. Having a very concrete action as a task makes it easy to do.
Yet, assigning concrete action to some tasks may itself take significant
time, especially for complex tasks requiring some research. For such
tasks, I often add one simple action required to get started on the
task. This does not require spending much time on planning each step to
complete the task, yet making complex tasks look less intimidating.


  reply	other threads:[~2021-04-27  4:18 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-04-26 16:18 On using to-do lists efficiently Bastien
2021-04-27  4:22 ` Ihor Radchenko [this message]
2021-04-27 10:22 ` tbanelwebmin
     [not found] <6f115e5abc494010aab5e432ebc7444e@VI1PR0102MB3327.eurprd01.prod.exchangelabs.com>
2021-04-27 12:32 ` Eric S Fraga

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