Three Task System, Live Demo

Mark Forster, from, author of Do It Tomorrow (which the store tells me is in the mail), is doing a live demo today of the Three Task System.

In my words, the system is as follows: Use whichever list generation and sorting system you like, until the rubber hits the road. Mark is using his AF4. I’m using an experimental hybrid of AF4, DIT (as I understand it from his blog) and a task calendar.

Pick three tasks, using whichever criteria works for you. Do two (or three), the refill the list.

I decided to join him today.

9:30: As of last night, my overly-ambitious list for the day, with estimates, was:

  • 30 Kitchen, laundry, hotspots (I consider these one task.)
  • 10 Weekly Tub
  • 15 Weekly Bathrooms
  • 60 Aerobics (today it’s moving a huge pile of mulch)
  • 20 Voice (4 songs to learn for spring exam. The Grade 4 exam is normally taken by 8 year olds, but it’s a stretch goal for me. Today’s goal is warm up and finally learn the words to the B part of the aria.)
  • 30 Paperwork backlog. Must get this done by the end of November so we can review our budget properly.
  • 30 Last month’s story performance. Listen to recording and write what I actually said / want to say next time I tell that story.
  • 10 Wrap husband’s birthday present
  • 30 Block shawl. I want to wear it on Wednesday when I tell my knitting story. Should do early in day so bed is available for bedtime.
  • 30 Shorthand. It’s the least important of my tasks, but I started doing it again while waiting for daughter’s karate and am on a roll.
  • 15 Annual deep clean of the house. I try to get through the house every year, a bit at a time. Next step is finish the family room.

Total: 250 minutes = 4 hours. Not possible.

It’s really damp out and I might be coming down with something, so the Aerobics, which is usually first thing (I walk the kids to school, then keep walking and end with a shower), is being skipped. Third day in a row, sigh, but I’ve been pretty good for the last few weeks.

9:55 First set of three tasks:

  • 30 kitchen, laundry, hotspots
  • 30 block shawl
  • 15 tub and bathrooms (combining them)

Updates will go in the comments section. Feel free to add your own comments.


6 thoughts on “Three Task System, Live Demo

  1. 10:35 KLH done. Laundry done means everything I can do right now is done. That gets me the point for the day.

    Each time I finish a task I’ll move stuff from the pile to the washer to the dryer, but the folding will mostly wait till tomorrow.

    Another between-task job is getting my son, who is home sick, to peck away at his own list. (Homework and excavate under his bed to find his good shirt.)

    Now for the shawl. I’m nervous about it.1.5km of laceweight yarn, 70,000 stitches. (Insert 10-minute pause to calculate true total. Maybe this live demo thing isn’t so good an idea.)

  2. 12:40 Shawl is blocked!

    Knitting, especially lace, looks lumpy and ugly when freshly knit. The stitches aren’t quite even and the holes aren’t open. To block it, you wet it thoroughly then stretch it and let it dry. The water allows the yarn to stretch and the fibers slide along each other. It usually grows a good deal in the process as the yarn stretches and the holes open up.

    Some people stretch it dry then use a spray bottle.

    This is when the shawl shows its true beauty, but after many months of work, it’s easy to stall. What if you mess up this step? (Pretty silly concern, since all you have to do is wet it and re-stretch.) After this, all that’s left is sewing in the ends, which is best done when you know the final gauge.

    My son helped sight along the centrelines, which saved me a lot of repinning strings.

    This shawl blocked to just over 5 ft diameter and had 26 points. Very annoying, that. 56 divides nicely by 8, but then I had groups of 7 to deal with. Not terribly difficult, but annoying.

    Lessons for next time: Let it soak longer. By the time we had the 4 corner points down (which took some figuring, until we remembered Dad’s drywall square — 4 ft x 2 ft. Very nice), the shawl was almost dry. Yes, we found a clean spray bottle. Also allow 2.5 hours and make sure I have a helper.

    It’s pinned to a pink blanket because that’s the one I trust most. That, in turn, is pinned to a heavy quilt on our bed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show up well against the pink. Maybe I can Photoshop the pics.

    First, though, I owe my son lunch.

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