Using An Action Map To Make Sense Of The To Do List
What do we do when we have a lot of tasks we need to
We write them down.
So we start writing down the tasks and prioritizing
them. But it doesn’t always work. We don’t always get to start really working
on those tasks, getting things done.
You know why?
Because you’re not using a few simple tricks which make
it so much easier to manage a large number of tasks.
For example, just look at the drawing, and how it became
Visibility is a powerful tool to get things done.
An action map provides both visibility and the simple
tool to follow the progress of our tasks easily from a need to do task to a
completed one. Especially when we have a lot of them.
An action map is something very common used in agile
software development teams to acquire visualization a bit ahead to way things
needs to look like. You see , in software development , there is always tons to
do, plan, change, test, and so on. When we want to get some high level sense of
what comes first and what after (without getting into budget , resources and
other nosing details) .. we create an action map (usingstickynotes) and
sort them out into phases.
We can use this simple visibility technique for personal
With our kids, it’s easier to use the action map to
create order out of the tasks they need to deal with. We help them visualize
the flow things can go. Visualizing “Now, next, later” is an easy way to think
of a flow especially when dealing with kids.
works for kids and a basic sense of order and roadmap makes the simplest order
So how do we do it?
Use a white board, wall, or window. Create three columns
- Now, next and later.
●Visualize your goal and
tasks on a white task board
For example : Let’s say we have so many things to do in
the summer….we want to take a trip to Sea World , re-organize the room , tidy
up our wardrobe, take the dog for his
yearly vaccine, clear the shed…
●Place them on a large
action map and order them according to your needs.
●When we want to get into
getting things done Start doing one thing at a time, and visualize your
progress of doing.
It can look like this :
●Every day , consider
moving tasks from the bottom to the “now/today” space.
As you can tell we can also set scope on one day only,
and pick up tasks for the next day without confusing ourselves with more tasks
that are not relevant for that day.