Goalist Training 8

Current Recommended Way of Editing Task Sets

Task Sets are a very important element of the planning process. They let you to add multiple tasks in one go. That way you can create repeating routines for entire days or blocks of time.

If you create a task set for every week of the day ahead, you also put a lot of thought into a higher level view of your plan – the weekly view. It allows you to plan out what you can afford, in terms of time, to do during a week.

On paper create a list of things you would wish to do during the week. Calculate how much time overall you have during the week for them. Then think how much time you’d have to spend on each task during the entire week to make any progress or achieve your objectives related to it. Make hard choices and eliminate what you cannot do. Split the rest between each day of the week.

Example

For instance, you try to learn to play an instrument. You do some guitar, harmonica and djembe now and then, but make little progress and feel frustration.

On your wish list you initially plan only an hour a week for this. But you doubt it’s enough to learn anything. You have a choice:

  • Decide you have more important things to do and eliminate playing from your schedule until you deal with them.
  • Stop beating yourself up for not making progress. Just spend an hour a week having fun with your instruments without any expectations of progress. And without remorse for not improving.
  • Eliminate or shorten another task from your wish list and add the time gained to playing instruments. Decide to focus only on one instrument until you make a specific progress with it. Eg: only learn guitar until you memorize your favorite song. After that switch to learning another instrument or set a new goal for the guitar.

Let yourself be flexible

You don’t need to plan all 24 hours in a Task Set. By all means leave yourself some room for unexpected events and to simply be more flexible. The key is to plan out all the important tasks you very much don’t want to miss.

Speed up your current activities

You can also use Task Sets to easily analyze an activity at a deeper level.
For instance, let’s say you see in Statistics that your task “Meal” takes up more time that you would like it to. You use this task when you prepare a meal, have it, do the dishes and brush your teeth after. You don’t like doing the dishes the most so it feels like they take the biggest amount of time.

But you can analyze it by splitting the task into subtasks:

Meal – preparation
Meal – eating
Meal – dishes
Meal – teeth

(After you analyze and improve your routine you’ll just get back to using a single task again).

Create a task set “Meal” and add all the above four tasks to it. Each time you have a meal you add the Task Set to the plan. It’s as easy as adding a single task. But you get more granular stats.

Analyze stats and make improvements

Using these stats after a few days you may discover that doing the dishes is actually not that time consuming. You may decide that getting a dishwasher is not that urgent any more. And you can even start feeling better towards doing dishes now that you know they are so time-friendly 😀

If the preparation takes the most of the time you can focus on speeding it up. You can get additional kitchen equipment or introduce simple adjustments. Coming up with ideas for adjustments can be an exercise in creativity (Work Smarter, Not Harder), a concrete subject to talk about, and in case of some tasks – even an adventure..

Getting back to our “Meal” example, one of the things you could speed up is the way you add herbs & spices to the food.

Instead of adding spice A, B, C, D separately – you can create your mix ahead. It will last over a longer period of time. That way you’ll reduce the time needed to add spices to the meal as many times as there are ingredients in the mix.

Additional benefits

But there’s more – for instance pure turmeric has low levels of bioavailability. Most of it gets metabolized before it can get absorbed. Pepper and paprika help make it more bioavailable (even 1,000 times). So using a mix is definitely the way to go. Adding all three spices separately every time would be more time consuming than adding a mix. Not adding some of them would impede the absorption.

And you can control the taste of your mixes easier. You could even use scales for precise proportions of the ingredients. That way you could create recipes that are easier to share and teach than using: “a pinch of this and a hint of that”.

As we’re on vegan diet we care a lot about correct and regular supplementation of various vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and stuff. And we know a lot about the health benefits of herbs and spices. So we have various mixes and some use many ingredients: herbs & spices, herbs for infusions, nuts & seeds, seeds for grounding, etc. Using these mixes saves us a lot of time and makes it easier to add a wide variety of important ingredients to our meals daily.

How to work with Task Sets

The current interface for editing Task Sets is not as convenient as the Day Plan’s any more. Before we improve it we’d like to show you how you can use the Day Plan’s interface already. Here’s a video explaining it:


Video transcript

Task Sets can be added to the schedule or to another Task Set. So it’s worth creating smaller Task Sets for blocks of time, and use them as building blocks for creating bigger Task Sets or daily schedules.

For instance, let’s say that every time you walk your dog you want to remember to give it a snack and water afterwards.

You can create this simple Task Set: “Walk the dog (short)”

But once a day you take it for a longer walk. Then you also need to remember to clean its paws, otherwise your better half makes you clean the carpet. And you need to give it a bigger meal. It makes sense to create another Task Set for it: “Walk the dog (long)”.

Then, when you create a Task Set for Monday, you can use the existing Task Sets as building blocks:

  • Create a new Task Set “Monday”
  • Add task set “Walk the dog (short)”
  • Add “Work”
  • Add “Walk the dog (long)”
  • And so on…

Modifying a Task Set

If you want to modify the Task Set slightly you can do it directly in this view.

For instance for the Winter you may need to extend the time needed for cleaning your dog’s paws to 15 minutes: tap the task, then the “+” button.

If you want to make more adjustments you may find the Day Plan’s view more convenient for it:

  • Choose any day without a schedule (Navigation > Goalist, then the right arrow next to the date)
  • Add the task set (add “Monday”)
  • And make adjustments: long-press “Work”, Split in the middle, insert “Gym” 1h, Add “Visit parents”, long-press “Walk”, Insert before: “Visit parents”

If you want, you can see more meaningful start and end times of your tasks during the editing. You can simply add a placeholder, like a “No plan” task to the beginning of the list.

Let’s say your Monday starts at 8am. Then you can add “No plan” and make it 8h long. Now, as you see the start and end times, it may be easier to adjust the durations of all tasks.

Once you’re done editing you can export your changes back into the Task Set. You can use “Menu > Select All”, unmark the placeholder (“No plan”), MORE, Convert into Task Set, Overwrite existing, choose Monday, OK.

Now if on Thursday you start work at a different time, you can go back, cancel the selection (using the top-left “X”), move the longer “Walk” to the beginning of the day, move the shorter “Walk” after “Work” (cancel the selection, mark the last two tasks, move them after the second “Work”), add an hour of “Playing Guitar”.

And now Menu > Select all again, exclude the placeholder (“No plan”), MORE, Convert into Task Set, Create New, type in “Thursday”, OK.

Would you like to see more videos?

Please let us know how you like the video and what subjects would you like us to cover next. We value all suggestions and criticism. And we constantly improve the Training and the app based on them – so please write whatever comes to mind!

(This post is part of Goalist Training)

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