My Personal Stack - A WTF Was I Doing List

My current stack

Let's See What Happens

This is an experiment. Instead of a TODO list, it's a DOING list. It's "push/pop" style. Meaning, when I switch to a new task I "push" it onto the top of the list. When it's done, I "pop" it off to remove it. The thing I'd been working on before the jump moves back to the top.

The experiment: see if keeping track of what I _have__ been doing make it easier to get back to the start of a yak shave.

You'll notice writing this post isn't on the list. It was at the top while I was working on it. I found a bug on the site while I was drafting. I pushed that to the top of the list and started working on it. When I fixed it, I popped it off and got back to writing.

The switch to fixing the site was a big context jump. There's a good chance that if I hadn't looked back at the list I would have rolled off to doing something else and left this post half finished and abandoned.

The Other Style

I still have TODO lists. Sometimes written down. Sometimes in my head. Regardless, thinking about a full list has a weight to it. This DOING approach pulls a single string out into isolation. It's lighter. I'm finding that a welcome relief.

This isn't like Getting Things Done where you plan out all the "next physical actions" for everything on your TODO list. I've only got one DOING list. Everything on it is in service of whatever the one thing at the bottom of the stack is. The fact that those things may wonder pretty far is fine. The goal is to have the path back.

There's also nothing to say that everything has to be done when I'm moving back down the list. Sometimes I like completing tangents. Other times, I'm fine with letting them go. The key is that the list keeps track of them all and let's me make explicit decisions about them. I feel way less like I'm forgetting things.