Putting the trees in the context of the forests
One of the best ways to make sure a task gets done, to me, is to put the tree in the context of the forest.
I use a Bullet Journal to organize: I find this to be one of the best ways to recording tasks that need to be done “on the fly.” Over the past few weeks, however, I have begun using a Scrum Board as well.
Some of you are familiar with a Scrum board. The term “Scrum” comes from Rugby; the process is well known in tech circles. The best book I’ve found to describe the “why” and “how” of a scrum process is “Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time.” It’s by the author of the process, and it explores how to implement Scrum, the “why” behind each part of the process, and how it can be used not just in tech circles, but in the non-profit sector too.
A scrum board is basically a big white board divided in three columns: “To Do,” “Doing” and “Done.” Sticky notes define the tasks. You put sticky notes up on the board and move them from category to category. At the end of the week, there’s a system for measuring velocity of progress, and then a reflective step to determine how you can go faster.
The real power of this system, I’ve found, is that it enables me to define categories of actions – Scrum calls this “stories” – but basically it’s an overarching “line” of to-do items that are part of a process. This “tree” (task) is in that “forest” (process), and the process is being run for this reason.
Remembering why I am doing something helps give me more motivation to do it. Knowing the “done” state of the process also helps me when the task is kind of “boring.”
If you want a great system that will help get you into a process mindset, check out the book.