The one minute to-do list a method by author and time management expert Michael Linenberger to put an end to the confusion of tasks.
All in one: the time management method of the 1-minute to-do list is becoming more and more popular. Is your to-do list stressing you out more than helping you? Time management experts know a method of how to organize chaos – in 60 seconds.
One notes tasks on paper – and after a few days is in the chaos of notes. The other write to-dos one after the other in a Word document or an app to soon despair at the seemingly endless list. And a third party enters tasks in his calendar until the constant search for the important thing is just annoying. One thing is clear: hardly anything sounds so easy in theory and is as difficult in reality as keeping a to-do list properly.
For this problem, the American time management expert Michael Linenberger has developed a simple solution that has been finding more and more fans for several years: the 1-minute to-do list. He explains how this method works on his blog and also in a free e-book.
How to get the ideal task list in four steps:
Step 1: Set Up Categories
According to Linenberger, all media are equally suitable for the 1-minute to-do list, whether paper, word document, mail program with task management function – or online tool for task management. The only requirement: It must be possible to assign tasks to three categories. And if you like to write on paper, you should replace notes and post-its with a notebook. So nothing gets lost.
Linenberger advises professionals to describe the urgency of your tasks in three columns or labels. You name the first “important today”, the second “important soon” and the third “important at some point”.
Step 2: Sort Tasks
The second step is to prioritize the tasks accordingly. The first category, “Today important”, assigns all those that you really have to do today. According to Linenberger, the second category “Coming Soon” includes everything that has minimal time. But you would like to have off the table in ten days at the latest. And the third label “important at some point” brings together tasks that have a longer time.
Step 3: Kick Out Tasks
The problem with many to-do lists: Most of us simply write everything down one after the other at random. To keep the list under control, according to Linenberger, you should try to have no more than five tasks in the first category – and a maximum of twenty in the second. The third category with non-time-critical tasks is not subject to any restrictions.
Step 4: Review Tasks
Get in the habit of regularly checking whether the tasks are sorted correctly. If not, postpone them. Linenberger recommends the following intervals: You should check the first category of tasks to be performed today every hour. The second at least once a day. And the last once a week. You should also use this routine to consistently cross out or delete everything that you have done.
The Reality Check
The 1-minute to-do list method is simple and works – even if setting up digital lists takes 15 minutes instead of just one. Once this is done, regular maintenance and checking really only take 60 seconds because the number of tasks listed per list is limited.
The latter has a positive side effect: the restriction helps to discipline oneself and really only includes as a to-do what deserves the title “task”. Only supposedly important things like “buy a gift for a business partner XYZ” or “get your tax folder in order” land reliably in the third category, the list also shows which tasks can be delegated.
Realizing time management isn’t easy? and are you tired of adjusting your task management? Then maybe the Not-to-do list method that Tim Ferriss recommends for more productivity will help you.