Best Laid Plans

Episode 181: January Q&A: Task Management, Project Management for Home Tasks, Negative Goals, and Building a Seasonal Reference Planner

January 15, 2024

It’s 2024’s first Q&A episode! I open with some listener suggestions and feedback and then delve into January’s listener questions — many around goal setting and task management (it is January, after all)!

References Mentioned:
Julie Morganstern’s Time to Parent

The Eisenhower Matrix — James Clear’s take

Cal Newport episode: From Chaos to Calm in One Day

Contact Info:

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YouTube (minimal, but Planner Stack 2024 is there 🙂 )

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  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns January 15, 2024 at 11:13 am

    I listened to this episode while deep cleaning our fridge so I am still experiencing January energy. I try to run with it for as long as I can because it will eventually go away!

    The task tracking can be tricky. I have a running to do list in the notes page of my W222 (they are designed to be daily pages but I use them for notes and to do lists). If it’s a time sensitive task, I add it to my outlook calendar at work, even if it’s related to the kids or my personal life. But I can’t access google products at work so it’s best to have on my work calendar. The pop-up reminders are a fool proof way to make sure I don’t miss something.

  • Reply Keren January 15, 2024 at 1:55 pm

    I really liked the listener’s approach for rating goals on a scale, thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply Allee January 16, 2024 at 5:34 pm

    As the person who wrote the original capture overload email, thanks for all of the feedback! It certainly does stem from a perfectionist problem. It makes a lot of sense to use the Eisenhower matrix for work tasks (I even have an Ink and Volt pad for that!) and then for home or personal tasks to trust that things will keep coming to me if they truly are that important!

  • Reply Sarah S. January 17, 2024 at 3:26 pm

    As a fellow college instructor I had similar struggles to the listener with the first question. After several years I settled on the somewhat draconian solution that I do not accept “inputs” from students at any location other than my desk. I am happy to talk to them before or after class or in the halls about setting up meetings or writing letters of recommendation or anything else, but during each conversation I insist that they must email me to confirm the details to get on my calendar or to do list. My students are very accepting of this (many will pull out their phones and email me right away) and it ensures that all requests go into my established systems and lists. It took me years to realize that I could refuse to accept inputs and requests at times that were inconvenient. As long as I give students and colleagues a way to get their requests to me everybody seems happy.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 18, 2024 at 5:29 am

      I love this. It reminds me of how I handle requests at work (being specific about which methods to use but always being sure to offer something where I will reliably respond!)

    • Reply Frances January 24, 2024 at 10:07 am

      Sarah, thanks for this! I sent in that email – I am the overwhelmed lecturer… What you say is a really good reminder that I don’t have to respond instantly: as Allee said above, it is probably coming at least partly from a perfectionist (and people-pleasing) mindset. If I ask students to email me about whatever it is so that I have a record of it and can act on it, and then they don’t in fact contact me, then perhaps it was not so important in the first place…

  • Reply Daria January 18, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    I loved this episode!! I, too, save many things but I do not go back and look at them all. That would be insane! So, why do I still save them? I have no idea lol

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