Keeping track of everything you're doing is never an easy task. Sometimes, you have so many different projects and tasks it's almost impossible to get anything going. In an interview with Fast Company, author Jim Benson suggests you keep the process simple with three lists: ready, doing and done.
The idea is to keep your tasks organised — but not too organised. Benson’s method gives you a chance to see what you need to do, but it’s still possible to move things around within the system. Here's how it works:
What we do is take a whiteboard and create three simple columns: Ready, Doing and Done. In the Ready column, you populate that with Post-it notes of things you’re supposed to do. In the Doing column, you set a limit — we recommend three things, though it can be higher or lower. So now instead of having a theoretically unlimited capacity for work, you now have a very visible limited capacity for work.
Every time you complete a task, you move it to the done column, and move one item into the doing column. If you stick to your limit in the doing column, you'll ensure you’re not overworking yourself. Head over to Fast Company for a full breakdown of the system and the rest of the interview with Benson.