Collaborative task lists: My wife & I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Collaborative task lists


My wife & I have been using Google calendar for years and we've found that it's really helped us stay on top of scheduling around each other's time.

As I work a full-time job away from home and my wife works an even fuller-time job as a stay-at-home mom of 3 kids, we were finding that the ability to remotely collaborate on calendars with each other really gave us quite a capability.

Given that my career field is in software and data science, as with most engineering and manufacturing disciplines, I've spent many years using ticketing systems. These are systems where anything from the implementation of large features to the fixing of tiny software bugs can be broken down into meaningful tasks representing a level of complexity relative to other tasks. If these tasks are large enough, they can also be broken down into sub-tasks and the progress of each task tracked through the completion of its sub-tasks.

As a result of effectively utilizing these types of ticketing systems, large, arduous, and daunting software modifications can be made manageable and progress more easily tracked.

I might be in my mid-30's but I'm in shape and I have a restless hunger for life. At any time, I've got 10+ projects going on with people around me, be it building a "hover car track" out of magnets and wood with my oldest son, to building a wooden train & track with my youngest, to making a new board game with my wife, to other entrepreneurial ventures I take on either alone or with comrades. Given that I'm also in graduate school and need to pay the mortgage, it may appear as though I have no time during the day to accomplish all of this.

what I've realized is that my brain has 2 different sides- a visionary side and a task-oriented side. Often, both of these sides are going on at the same time- I'm constantly thinking, molding, shaping, designing, and planning and yet during all of this, my body is idle. As any good computer scientist would point out, that's a waste of resources!

So I recently found an app that I really love and got my wife to use it with me as well. It's called Wunderlist. We've been using it to collaborate on things that need to be done around the house, home improvement priorities, even the grocery list!

I've found even more use for it in organizing my thoughts and visions into a series of structured tasks that, after the hard thought has gone into them, can be done almost mindlessly to increase progress on a particular project. So I've got a running task list of all the projects I've got going on and I've prioritized the tasks so that when I'm idle and looking for something to occupy my body for a bit, I can take on one of the tasks.

It seems like much of the problem with "visions" and "ideas" about the future end in the mind and never get materialized into reality. That's so unfortunate to think that people love going through the process of having wonderful visions about what the world could be but never allow themselves to get to step 1 in making it a reality. I've found that by keeping a task list on my phone and using it with my wife, I am able to quickly track the next tasks to accomplish just about all of my goals.

What seems to explain this phenomenon might be a mix between thinking pragmatically about the implementation of your goals coupled with the ability to hold yourself accountable for the next unit of work. This also seems to make achieving the overall goal much less daunting, while keeping me grounded in the present about how much I've accomplished.

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