How would you like to sleep better, have less stress, have more time and get more done?
And all of this without psychiatric medication, treatment or group therapy!
All you have to do is follow Dr. Good’s non-medical advice.
The CureOver the years, I have struggled with the fact that I can think up more things to do than I can do. At various points in my life I have been vain enough to imagine that I don’t have to write stuff down. I have tried paper-based systems, such as the Franklin Planner. I have also used various computer programs beginning with Microsoft Outlook, lists kept in Microsoft Word, various project management systems, and on and on.
I finally had to develop my own spreadsheet. It’s been working now for some time. And I thought I would share it with you.
The ProblemThe problem for me is getting all of the things I want to do written down in one place. Obviously I have things I’m doing with my family, my kids, finances, taxes, errands, fix-it projects, and more. I am involved in some church activities. I have a book to publish, plus a business to run.
All these areas of life get pushed forward by setting goals, doing the tasks that accomplish the goals, and trying to do my best to make certain nothing slips through the cracks.
Basics of Task ManagementThere’s more to task management than just making a “To Do” list.
Suppose you write down: “Go to the store.”
Immediate questions occur: Why?
Well, to pick up some dog food.
When? Well, how about today. Dog is hungry.
And if you are really into managing tasks so that they add up to something, you can ask, “For what purpose?”
To which you might answer: Maintain friendly relations with my spouse by promptly doing what is requested.
So in the spreadsheet I have created, I have a column for each attribute of a task. The beauty of doing this in Excel is that if I (or you) want to make a change, no problem. Just add a column.
You can of course do this yourself without downloading my spreadsheet. But I have formatted it so dates appear as a date. I have verified that certain features I will describe below work. And I have created a couple of little tutorials to show you how to use “advanced features,” such as the AutoFilter.
Important note: As we begin this, you will notice there are no examples of tasks that need to be performed for specific clients. Such tasks should always be entered as actions in the database and should be attached to the record of the client for whom they are being done. This is just basic Database Management 101. The tasks I am talking about here are all the other things you have to do in managing a business or even managing a life. You have to keep track of those too.
Here are the columns of my spreadsheet. I will explain them below: