Writing Wednesday: Recording emergent tasks

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Emergent tasks cropped

Emergent tasks are things that come up during the day that weren’t on your to-do list but need to be done right away. I like to write emergent tasks on my day’s page for two reasons:

1) To create a record of when things happened. Some things come up that you might want to have a record of to refer back to later. Here’s a recent example: I received an email notifying me to renew a website domain that I thought I had canceled long ago. I called to ask about it and was told I had cancelled my account but had not canceled the domain itself. (??) The customer service representative assured me the domain would expire on its own and I would not be charged for it. I made sure to record all of this in my daily book to have a record of what was said, in case it comes up again later.

2) To see how I spent my day. There are some days when I have a lot of emergent tasks. If I didn’t write them down my days would look like I didn’t get anything done, when actually I was very busy. I like being able to see how I spent my time. This is also called a “Done List” (as opposed to a To Do List). Writing a Done List helps you feel accomplished. It also helps when you think, “Where did my day go?” Then you look at the list of all the things you did and realize, ah, that’s where it went!

Do you record emergent tasks, or write a Done List?

6 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Recording emergent tasks

  1. I write down both! For both reasons that you mentioned. It helps me to get out tasks that i’d rather not forget and it helps me to stay motivated with the tasks that I did do. I use two different bullets, a la Bullet Journal, to differentiate between the tasks that I planned to do and the tasks that I got done and wrote down after the fact. The former is a checkbox to get checked off and the latter is simply a checkmark. Works for me! 🙂

  2. The done list is essential tool for me. Much of what happens during my day despite best efforts is not planned and i need to be able to remember it, and not just as part of a time entry on an invoice.

  3. This is why I keep a phone log separate from my journal (mostly for space constraints) so every call I make is documented. I can’t tell you the times it has saved me, either in money or time.

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