Disclaimer: this works for me. In my current life I’m mainly an author. I don’t write a lot of books though. I write mails, websites, business plans, blog posts, preparations of presentations, about how and why I made a decision, program code, and so on.

For every task you do in collaboration with others or for others, there are several generic steps. Not doing one of these steps may make your work a burden to others rather than something useful. Most task are for others and some people even manage to make their own another person. Some people manage to make other people their own, but this is another issue.

  1. When you’re not going to do a task instantly, add it to your todo list and communicate the timing to the person who gave you the task.
  2. Make a plan. On paper. Sorry trees.
  3. Do the task, and write documentation pseudo simultaneously. People (this includes yourself) will want to work on it later on if it is valuable what you are doing, so you better write good documentation.
  4. Report to others that you have done the task. That may include writing a blog post about it, or it may be writing a short notice to your supervisor.
  5. Scratch it from your todo-list. Even if you didn’t add it in the first place. It feels good, doesn’t it?