todo workflow

The todo process is based on agile principles (you find them below) and the goal of my todo process is to facilitate three things:

  • to PLAN: I get an overview of all potential todos and break them down into 25 minutes tasks
  • to PRIORITIZE: I make sure that I do more than things right, but the right things!
  • to REVIEW: I can check the progress on what I have done weekly “You can only manage, what you can measure”

Tools you need are:

  • asana

The todo workflow:

[ordered_list style=”decimal”]

At the project beginning I start with the planning game

  1. The “customer” is asked for the desired features. This features are the goals/use stories/hypothesis. The customer can be an external person or myself. Important is the interview technique for this. This is done by brainstorming  and writing the general hypothesis for the process steps down in asana.
    1. New Tasks are added with Tab-Q: I select an action title, a description like an web url, assign it to the person and select a project Title: Write down the result, with specific words and details … so that a assistant could do it.
    2. Go to my Inbox (Task assigned for me within 1 day) and priorize the tasks according to the eisenhower matrix
      1. Important: What happens if I don’t do it? Does it damage my career (3), damage my personal relationship(2), damage my health/self(1).  (Tab-H) Write down the goals for the next 1-2 years and what has to happen (persons liking you, …). If a task contributes to goal then it is important.
      2. Select all and send to upcoming (Tab-L)
      3. Urgent: When is it due? Give a date otherwise check in a month! (Tab-D) Date: Have always 3 days puffer!
  2. The “engineer” estimates the difficulty of the task.
    1. By creating dummy subtask for every (25 min pomodoro).
  3. Decide on the goals/hypothesis for the “2 week sprint”.
    1. identify the right question to prove the hypothesis and the test assessing that the goal has been done.
    2. Break the selected big goal down into small 25 minute tasks. This is important so I am not overwhelmed and also that I can do work in small breaks. 

Start working from Category 1 to 4.

  1. Short term todos that impact my long term goals. Do them now and with high accuracy. Try to prevent this the next time by planning better or saying no / telling somebody that I don’t appreciate such short notice work.
  2. Not urgents things that impact my long term goals. I plan specific times to do this todos with high accuracy.
  3. Not important to long term goals but urgent. I delegate them or do them quick by the 80/20 rule.
  4. Not important and not urgent: Do I really have to do them?

Do a Daily Scrum everyday after waking up 3 minutes:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you duo today?
  3. Are there any impediments in your way?



agile principles: 
  • Collective Code Ownership:
    • find feedback groups for everyproject and demand active feedback.
    • as well as put my “code” online so everyone in the group can track and improve it.
  • Small Releases
    • Integrate so you have always  a complete version at the end of the day.
  • Simple Design
    • Just a short structure how to reach the goal. Work with hypothesis and try to prove them. Use this to break down big goals into small tasks.
  • Customer on site: 
    • Always be in close contact with the customer.Check at least once per week (either with a significant improved version or a question catalogue that is need to overcome the challenges that prevented the significant improved version last week).
  • Refactoring:
    • Don’t plan extensively for every eventuality. Focus on the next sprint. If something is wrong, change it.
  • “Coding” standards:
    • Define standards and make them available to everyone that works on the project and inform yourself on existing standards in the project. Publish your standards on your blog in the category workflows.
  • Test driven development:
    • Before you start “implementing” / prove the Hypothesis define the test when the hypothesis is proven or the goal is reached. E.g. What questions does a reader have to answer after a chapter? Check this by letting somebody read the chapter and ask the question).
  • 40h week:
    • work a maximum of 40 hours per week. Track this.
  • prototyping:
    • If you are not sure if this is the right way. Start with a prototype and experiment and learn by “try and error”. Like instead of writing a complete chapter make a fast research round and then write a short agenda/draft for a chapter.

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