Another cool idea on @drmaciver’s blog:
I chimed in in the comments as well.
Here’s my summary…
Productivity Deck, by David R MacIver
You have lots of ongoing projects and you want to make sure none of them starve. So here’s what you do.
Setup and basic rules
- Write each project on an index card.
- Create a time- (or TagTime-) based Beeminder goal for following this system.
- Every day you randomly select a card.
- Only the chosen project each day counts towards the Beeminder goal.
Rules for adding & removing cards
- The only way to reject today’s card and draw a new one is to rip it up and drop that project entirely.
- The only other way to remove a card is to choose not to put it back in the deck at the end of the day.
- No adding new cards until you’ve picked today’s card.
Clarifications & caveats
- If you’re legitimately blocked by something external, pick a new card.
- Planning new things to do for the project counts as work on the project.
- Work on other stuff is fine, it just doesn’t count towards the Beeminder goal.
- ADDED: Want a card to come up more often? Include multiple copies of it!
David says he likes the randomness. I’m still thinking about whether I prefer a non-random version like Mark Forster’s system. (One might think I have a randomness fetish with all the systems I’ve come up with that employ it – stochastic payments, this other forum post today, TagTime, Expectorant – but in all those cases the randomness achieves something specific. All else equal I prefer determinism.)