Complete your countless projects

By using index cards for your projects

Do you keep a “honey to-do list”? A list of all the projects you want your partner to complete? Like putting up shelves in the pantry or creating a flower bed in the garden? Or maybe you have your own list of projects?

A few years ago, someone introduced me to organising and completing the projects on your to-do list with index cards. Whether you’re bored and don’t know what to do or you just gained some free time, you simply pick up one of the index cards and work on it. Sounds too simple? It actually is:

Get a set of index cards and write one project on each index card. For example, putting up shelves in the pantry is on one card and creating a flower bed in the garden is written on another card.

Estimate the time to complete it. For smaller projects, you may want to write it in minutes (e.g. 5, 10, 15, 30 or 45 minutes). If it will take longer, specify the hours (e.g. 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours).

List any required tools or materials. To put up the shelves, you’ll need the shelves as well as screws and a drill. If you don’t have the tools, you may want to write down where you can buy, rent or borrow them. How much in advance will you be able to get them?

Sort the index cards by their duration. Keep them in one place, like a Tupperware container where the lid has gone missing.

Next time you don’t know what to work on, just go through your index cards. As the cards are sorted by their estimated duration, you can quickly decide if you are in the mood for a 5-minute-long or a 2-hour-long project to work on. Having the required tools and materials listed will also help you make the decision. If you don’t have everything available right there and then, you’ll pick another project or go out to get the missing bits.

Don’t forget to throw out the index card when you’ve completed the project.

Some folks find it easier to work with electronic index cards and you can use the “Notes” section on your phone to track your projects. If you prefer some more sophisticated apps, you can download the apps from Remember the Milk or Wunderlist. These apps work like a to-do list and you’d just add the expected duration in the title. You can still go through your electronic list and select the project that fits your newly won time.

Well, I’m off to the shops for the last ingredients for today’s dinner. What are you cooking tonight?

Until next time,

2 thoughts on “Complete your countless projects

  1. I don’t have any Tupperware without lids because I organised those last month. remember? 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion though.

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