The Plate

What’s on your plate?

I don’t know about you, but it seems that I have to work really hard at keeping in front of me the things that I actually need to work on. So in another attempt to refine the way I keep track of projects and responsibilities, I made a simple note called “plate.”

This note only contains two lists:

  • Active projects: what I’m working on
  • Queue: what I’ve committed to doing

This isn’t the perfect system, but it helps create a visible representation of commitments. For me, this is the next iteration in my task management system to try and find the right level of detail for day-to-day work. If my task list is standing on the street, the plate is looking out from the 11th floor.

My goal is to have a short list of active projects that I’m actually working on to ensure that they receive enough attention to get over the finish line. When a project is done, it gets deleted, and space opens up for another item to come up from the queue.

Alongside some projects, I’ll write out the next action. Some things are dependent on others, so it might just be a reminder of what I’m waiting on.

How this simple format has seemed to help:

  • Momentum - a clear list of what’s in process helps me stay focused on moving each item forward.
  • Metering - the longer the lists grow, the more I see when I’m overcommitting.

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