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10 Feb

Lesson No. 3 in DN's course in structure

Datum: 2012-02-10 09:15

Every Sunday, I write a course in structure in Sweden’s major morning paper Dagens Nyheter.

The third lesson, about securing your inflow of tasks, was published last week.

In English, it translates as follows:

“Where do all your notes go?

“The new version will be released this spring. After that, everything will be better.”

It is easy to put all your faith in the latest technology to make us more structured. The new features in programs and the applications can to a certain extent undoubtedly help us keep track of our daily doings. But, they will not get to the root of the matter; they will not solve the whole problem.

Most of us make promises on a daily basis in numerous situations and contexts, and this makes it essential that the path from making the promise to putting it in terms of a to-do-task on our to-do-list is dependable. It is a temptation to think “oh well, I don’t need to write that down; I will remember it”, as it easily gets unintentionally neglected when the phone rings and we need to attend to something urgent. The notes we scribble random tasks and promises on “temporarily” on a busy day will be left unattended to, and soon we have tasks scattered everywhere, and with that, difficulties attaining a proper overview of our situation.

Take a moment to think about what method you presently use to make sure you gather all new to-do-tasks which come from: the meeting, the e-mail, the phone-call you received in the taxi, the note you wrote in a haste, the brief moments you spend with the colleague who stopped you in the corridor, the SMS, the message on Facebook, the coffee-break, the lunch with your client, or the cocktail-party. 

Where do you write it down? And where does it go next? Do you have a water-proof system in place or are you risking that a promise you have made becomes neglected and forgotten? How can you make this process quicker and more dependable?”