When we come across a poorly-formed task on our task list, we either slow down to figure out what to do or just skip it because it looks too hard. Examples of poorly formed tasks include, “Tuvalu account,” “TPS report,” and most every email in our inboxes right now. Poorly-formed tasks stall our productivity.
A well-formed task is doable. It is some physical, concrete step such as making a call or sending an email to a specific person, editing a particular document, or brainstorming a certain topic. A well-formed task is often the very next thing we need to do for a given project. Examples of well-formed tasks include, “email Hannah list of possible agenda items for quarterly meeting,” “call Jason to discuss Xialing’s request for information,” and “buy new printer cartridges from onlineofficeservices.com.”
We need only spend about 30 to 60 minutes daily ensuring that our talk list is current and all of our tasks are well formed. That may sound like a lot but it is well worth it. Instead of slowing down to figure out what to do with each task, we can motor through them. Instead of skipping over unclear or difficult tasks, we make progress easily.
In your corner,