Todo List – Friend or Foe?
Post # 9: Integrating rolling tasks into our lists



This is the heading


For when we have a task that has so many stages that it is never finisheddddd

Rolling tasks

You know these tasks that no matter how much you invest in them,
they seem never to end and the satisfaction of doing is not so abundant?
There are called ‘rolling tasks’.
They are tasks that are either very vast and even kind of vague – like looking for a new home or changing work; or tasks that are dependent on many outside factors that we have little control over – like deciding what to do with our finances.
They usually demand some research and thinking.

Because of their nature, many people tend to put off completing them.

But although they carry a few challenges, we can overcome them by using some easy tricks.
To explain, I will use the example of looking for a new home.

Here is my recipe for dealing with them

The challenge: Where to start?
The first challenge is that they are usually very vast and not specific,
and we can be at sea as for where to start. For example, if we decided we want to look for a new home, and then we write on our list “find a new place,” it does not tell us anything practical.

The solution: creating a list of mini-tasks
What we need to do is to take the big task and slice it into precise small tasks.
Each mini-task we write in action mode, meaning it is clear what we need to do in each step.
Using the above example, a good action-list could be:

  1.  Write a short description of the place we want to find.
    2. Ask my friends (FB, WhatsApp groups, etc.) for recommendations
    according to #1, including real estate agents’ names.
    3. Look in 2 websites according to my specifics and gather information
    about prices and availability (save in wish list)
    4. Create a smart agent in these websites
    5. Start looking at places
    6. Tell my landlords about my plans

The challenge: how to determine progress?
Because this goal is made of many steps, the desired outcome
(namely finding a new place) is far ahead.
Hence, we cannot evaluate progress by the final result.
It presents a challenge since we may be doing a lot,
but never feel a sense, and it can be frustrating.

The solution: adding time-frame or a number-frame
If we add to each mini task a time frame, we can feel satisfied by completing
a well-defined mini-goal even when the ultimate goal is still out of sight.
For example, to invest 20 min a day looking at adds or spending 2 hours a week visiting potential places.
We can also add a number-frame. For example, calling three adds per week or spreading the rumor that you are looking to 2 people per week.

And one last advice: to encourage yourself when handling this kind of projects,
keep a record of all that you have done.
It will look like this:

          • Write a description of what I want
          • Talk to Daniel about recommended real estate agent
          • Research websites for 20 min (Sunday)

It will give you a sense of progress and will be supportive if you find yourself a bit frustrated along the way.

Wishing you a smooth rolling 🙂

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