Okay so you’ve read about STUFF and you’re keen… you’ve read about getting started and know it’s app-neutral and you can do it on paper or digitally or on a whiteboard or skywrite it.
But what exactly do you put IN your STUFF list? Everything? Is it everything?
Nope. It’s definitely not everything. Please don’t put in everything!
I don’t know about you but I’m often pretty overwhelmed by my own list. Even scheduling something on a calendar makes me want to rebel against doing it. I used to think that if I could just find or develop the perfect system then I couldn’t forget about the important things…
But I could still ignore them. I can ignore anything. I’m really good at it!
So the important thing about your core STUFF list is that it’s not things you’re going to want to ignore. At least – not directly.
One of the most important items on my STUFF list is to look at my calendar. In my Treading Water gear it’s to look at and update my calendar for today and tomorrow. In my Usual gear it’s to look at and update my calendar for the next two weeks. Even if I know everything that’s on it. Even if I know it’s empty. I still look at it. And a lot of the time I was wrong about what was or wasn’t on it. And I often think of things that should have been on it but weren’t.
But the calendar items aren’t part of STUFF. Just the reminder to look at the calendar. So if I’m really overwhelmed by my calendar (or my general to-do list or housework list or anything else…) I can ignore that without ignoring STUFF as a whole. Of course, I try not to ignore my calendar because that leads to missing important things… But knowing that I will sometimes ignore my calendar at least that ignoring doesn’t ALSO lead to me ignoring everything else.
So your STUFF doesn’t track your mood (use a mood tracker!)
STUFF doesn’t keep track of your todos (use a to-do list!)
But add all of those other things to your STUFF list.
Other things on your list should be core habits or daily tasks. For me I have taking my medication, feeding the cats, making the bed, planning what’s for dinner tomorrow, engaging in a leisure activity and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Finally I have some daily goals on my list. To meat my move and activity goals on my apple watch. To meet my “karma” goal on To-doist. To check off a certain number of tasks under my housework and social categories on my to-do list.
So what’s on your STUFF list?
- Prompts to check other lists or apps (calendars, trackers, lists)
- Core habits
- Regular daily tasks
- Daily goals
What’s the difference between habits, tasks and goals? Ehhh. It doesn’t matter. I don’t think it’s important. But I hope this gives you an idea of the kinds of things that go on your STUFF list.
What’s NOT on your STUFF list?
- Your calendar
- Your general to-do list of once-off things
- Your less frequent repeating tasks
- Bigger or long-term goals
STUFF isn’t a task-management system. It’s not designed to do the grunt-work of scheduling or task-management. There are LOTS of apps that do those things pretty well. STUFF will be your “hub” which allows you to keep using ALL those other things at once instead of trying to cram everything into one app or system which you spend 12 hours in a row adding everything into and getting all the settings exactly right and then never open again.