Why do you keep a task list? Have you really thought about why?
At work it is fairly obvious, I’m expected to accomplish certain things as part of my job; therefore I need to be aware of my tasks and ensure I complete them. But what about at home, why do I have a task list there as well?
For some of the tasks it is because something needs doing and my husband and I have decided that I’m responsible e.g. booking the car in for a service. However this does not explain the majority of my task list. Many of the tasks are associated with me sorting or completing tasks e.g. reading my backlog of magazines. The aim being, once they are done I will have more time to spend on my chosen activities. This is the forward looking aspect of my task list; helping me create the future I want.
However, during some recent sorting (to make room for a new baby) I discovered several old task lists. There were two notebooks I used for AutoFocus, a diary I used for Do it tomorrow, and a folder containing lots of print outs from a method I’d created using Access as a collection and prioritising tool. Many of these were from 2008.
So why did I keep old task lists? Did I really think I was going to look back at them and wonder what tasks I’d completed on a specific day?
It suggests to me I’m naturally backwards looking (perhaps supported by my journal writing). Or maybe I’m trying to leave lots of information for my future biography writer!
I would prefer to be looking forward and building the future I want. But I’m not sure there is anything wrong with keeping a backwards view if it is useful or interesting; and if space is not at a premium as it will be for us in a few weeks! I’ve made the decision that old task lists are neither useful nor interesting and therefore recycled all the lists and hope in the future I can continue with that approach.