When I was preparing to visit the East Sussex Record Office last week I realised that my to-do list wasn’t doing its job properly. I identified several issues with it that concerned me.
- Not enough information – some entries lacked the background information needed to complete them
- New items not added – I was surprised to find there was nothing about Finding Minnie on my to-do list
- Completed items not removed – As I went through the list I could see several items that had already been completed
- Entries with no “where” indication – Many entries on the list had no indication of where they were to be completed
- No record of partially completed tasks – Some entires had no indication of which sources I have searched
In short my to-do list was incomplete and of course there is only one person to blame. Me.
I really need to take better care of my to-do list if it is going to actually help me do my family history. I suppose it has been too easy to just add things onto the list without really thinking about what I actually need to do to complete them.
I have tried to keep my to-do list as simple as possible, so that it doesn’t take up too much time. There is no point in having a to-do list that takes more time maintain than it does to actually carry out the tasks upon it. Perhaps it is still not simple enough, but I can’t see how I can make it much simpler.
Perhaps it is becoming too big. Perhaps I need to split it into smaller more manageable chunks, but that does defeat the object of having everything in one place where I can easily lay my hands on it.
For now the format of my to-do list is not going to change, however I am going to have to re-visit each and every entry and make sure that it is still needed and that it has all the information that is needed to carry it out.
In the future I promise I will do my best to look after my to-do list better, to nurture it, to feed it with all the information it needs and hopefully not let it get out of hand.