All my tasks are red!
This is perhaps the most dreaded outcome of using the Recurrer app. You’ve set up all your tasks. They all recur at different rates with some flexibility thrown in there. You work hard checking off the list each day with tasks completed.
And yet, you open up the list and see a great big blob of red tasks that are past their ideal stage of recurrence and pushing towards (or beyond!) being overdue.
What do you do about this? Here’s some tips, going from the tactical to the strategic.
- Change the ideal and maximum time for a task to recur. Have a look at the tasks that are red. Are there some that despite being technically ‘overdue’ (or approaching being overdue) aren’t actually all that important? If so, that’s a clue that you haven’t set your maximum recurrence timing correctly. The maximum number should be the point at which you need to drop everything and do that task.
- Can you break down the task into smaller subtasks? This is one of the fundamental approaches to using Recurrer to attack projects. If you have one big four hour ‘clean house’ task that’s taking up all your time, then maybe you need to break it down into a ‘clean kitchen’, ‘clean bathroom’, ‘clean bedroom’, ‘clean living room’ set of tasks and give them slightly different recurrence rates. At the very least, if the tasks are shorter, the app has a better chance to squeeze them into the day once they’re due. This prevents them from getting more overdue.
- Finally, have you simply got too many tasks? If you average 12 hours of tasks that you need to do every day and you only have 10 hours in which to do them, then no task manager in the world can help you. Sooner or later, some task is going to slip from its schedule. If you can’t budge the recurrence settings on any more of your tasks, and can’t split them down any further, then you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. There is only a finite amount of time in any given day. You can’t create any more, no matter how desperately you need it. Either you have to change your lifestyle so that some of the tasks can be eliminated (or, at the very least, snoozed), or you have to delegate some of those tasks to somebody else. Don’t forget, there’s always the right-swipe option on any task to do a Google search. Maybe that search will locate somebody to whom you can outsource the task. But this is the stage where you have to take deep stock of what you are actually capable of achieving within the time constraints of your daily life and adjust your goals accordingly.
A task list containing too much red is a sign that something is going wrong. But it’s also an opportunity to reassess your goals and streamline your projects to ensure they’re still realistic.