Hello, My name is Wally. I am a yellow sticky note abuser….. Hello Wally.
Several years ago, I use to be an abuser of sticky notes. I would go through a pack every couple weeks. I would carry the same notes in my pocket for months- from one pants pocket to another. Each sticky could have 1 important task to do, or it could have 10! I was out of control. It would be nothing for me to have 20-30 yellow stickys following me around. Is this task done, how about this one?
Then, I had a brilliant idea. I use Excel at work ALL THE TIME. So, I took all my stickys, sat down one evening while watching the ball game, and loaded up an Excel file. It became my TO DO list. I think I ended up with about 100 tasks at the end of the evening. I know there are programs and apps to help people with their to do lists but I wanted something super easy to jump into-update/add to-then jump out of. Note- this list is only for the gecko hobby/business and does not include my personal (Honey Do List) tasks.
It only took a few weeks before I refined my list to a true to do list. I find I do almost all my ‘extra’ work on Friday/Saturday/Sunday as the work days are mostly feeding and normal day-to-day maintenance. So, I added sections for Today, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then just an open section. Each day has a line for each task, a description, estimated hours, and priority. I will talk about the priority later. For each section (Today, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and open) I have a total hours.
For ‘Today’, I limit to HOT items that MUST get done. These include special Emails/FB message follow ups and anything that just cannot wait to get done. This is not used to record feedings, cleaning, and other normal facility maintenance or Email checking or FB reading, etc.
On each day, I keep track of estimated hours. Why? Because I do not want to overload a work day or weekend day. Work days (except on rare exception are limited to 2 hours- and I try to really keep this at 1 hour). Friday’s limit is set at 3, Saturday’s limit is 6 hours (as normal facility maintenance and feeding eats up another 4 hours usually). Sunday is set to 10 hours, and Sundays are usually the day of the week I try to do non-facility activities such as web site design and additions.
Sometimes I have larger ‘projects’ that have many tasks involved, such as building a new shelf unit. For these type of activities, I create another sheet on the worksheet, list the tasks, add est. hours, add a total, then add one line on the main TO DO sheet with a reference over to the total. Priorities- I have 4, 1-4. One is High. This should be done today! Or tomorrow at the latest. 2 is a priority but can wait a day or two or until the weekend. 3 is a normal to do. It would be nice to get it done pretty soon… as long as the #1s and #2s are done. And finally, 4s are things like reading improvement articles, changing things on the web page that bug me (work but still would like to change), and any long term projects that are a bit larger. I do go through the 3s and 4s to reevaluate once a month or so.
Once a task is complete, it heads down to the bottom past the To Dos and in a separate section. I too have totals on this too. Now the fun part…. Or you may consider it the geeky part. The completed item is saved, as I mentioned above, not deleted. And here is the kicker- I have a subtotal for all completed tasks, a calculation for # hours completed per day, and then a comparison to another calculation of expected hours per day to see if, for the year, I am ahead of schedule or behind schedule. What am I at right now for 2015? You don’t want to know how far behind I am!
And finally- I use DropBox so I can pull this sheet up anywhere (home, work, smart phone) and add a task or just check out how far behind I am!
So, when do I allocate time for the Daily Gecko News. Well, don’t tell anyone but I usually write up the prior day at work over lunch hour the next day. Shhhhhh.