One of these methodologies is called burner list, which is introduced in the bestseller Make Time . The author uses a single paper to manage his time, with an ultimate goal: keeping focus.
In brief, a piece of paper can be divided into four areas (see the demo below):
- The upper left is for the most important project;
- The upper right is for the second most important project;
- The lower left is the note area for the most important project;
- And the lower right is for misc items;
2 and 4 can be blank is there is no less important projects.
According to this setting, we can
- Only focus on up to two prioritized projects at a certain period of time (you can define the time range by yourself, for example, one day).
- Fold the paper vertically when we use it. Therefore, we can concentrate on the top priority or the other items at one time.
Take my day as an example
I have planned my today’s project with a burner list:
- The top priority is writing: an English post (this one) and a Chinese post, and I need prepare topics for the coming days;
- The second priority is team planning: I will set up a Basecamp account, and call my teammates;
- The misc tasks include surveying indie hacker website, learn online marketing and review my calendar setup.
I aim to finish all items in Writing and Team Planing by the end of today, but for now, I can focus on the left side of this burner list.
- With a single piece of paper, we can manage our time effectively;
- The ultimate goal of this methodology is keeping focus;
- We build a template on Notion, so you can import to use;
- We are building a tool based on burner list, so please stay tuned.