How The 'Magic List' Method 10x'd My Professional Career

How The 'Magic List' Method 10x'd My Professional Career

Open loops are one of the biggest productivity and money drains in any organisation.

I started my career as a receptionist and executive assistant. Early on there was one time when my boss drove an hour to an appointment that I had failed to confirm. And no one was at home 😱. Rookie mistake.

It wasn't that I didn't try. I made the call, left a message & ticked it off my to do list.

But that didn't mean it was confirmed. To do lists are deceptive, because not every task is black and white - they are all in varying stages of 'getting to done.' This is why I operate from magic lists now.

Magic lists are like holding areas for tasks that you can't take action on right now. Here's how they work:

The Waiting List. Anything that I am currently waiting for something on goes into my waiting list. An email I've sent that I'm waiting for a reply. Something I've delegated to a team member or a question I'm waiting on a reply back.

The Agenda List. Rather than pestering my team with 100 Slack messages a day I tag anything I need to talk about with agenda & the person's name (or meeting name). That way when I get on a chance to chat I have a list of things we can get through in bulk.

Task Inbox. So many tasks come up throughout the day from meetings, conversations, Slack, Email... For all of those, I tag them with sparktask and they end up in my Task Inbox. That way at the end of the day I have one place I can go & sort through everything.

These three magic inboxes saved my career & made me a far more valuable employee because I'm focused on closing loops fast.

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Posted as a Daily Essay on 12th May 2022 in Knowledge Management