Friday, November 15, 2019


Do you have a system for new todo items? I do. Sort of. One is implemented as part of inbox 0. And I know that that’s not really helping with the actual amount of work but that has helped me tremendously with the anxiety over missed items. Email remains “a system where anyone in the world can add todo items” (K. Mack, somewhere on Twitter).

But I still make paper todo lists. That’s partially motivational: feels good to strike off items. Those are for single days or the week maybe. Ideally they’d be organized by energy-I-have-left and urgency. I also have one on my phone. So it’s a bit of a mush. All of them have drawbacks (lost paper, I don’t check my phone todo list).

I was thinking of this since we’re mid-semester and the pile is growing out of control. This is the hardest thing to accept: the amount of work will inevitably grow beyond my ability to do even if I have “magical” days from here till the end of the semester.

Which brings me to “crudburner days”. These are days where from the start I try to knock off as many of the todo items, preferably stale ones. Decision time. Which mean quite a few it’s “well too late now” and remove. The feel good moment is when I halve the number in today/week/month pile.

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