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Work-Life Balance (Spread)Sheet

Stewart Brand recommends Llamagraphics’ Life Balance software — the “to-do list for real life” — as a useful tool to do more and stress less.

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The “life balance” part comes at the start of using the software. You define a half dozen or so major life activities within which all your activities and tasks can be hierarchically outlined. Then you break everything down into projects, tasks, and subtasks. The program keeps a tally of what you actually do (ie. check off your lists) and keeps you informed how your overall balance is developing.

According to Brand, that pie-charting is the least interesting aspect of the tool. Instead, he says, the truly useful part is how integrated the list making is. Users can set repeating tasks, define lead times, assign relative importance and difficulty, break subtasks up sequentially, and add date-specific items to their calendars.

Might be worth a look!

Update: Incidentally, Johanna Rothman’s recent item on “time boxing” as a project management tool could make a useful parallel read. “Timeboxing is a technique to fit what you can accomplish (some of the scope) into the time you have allotted. Timeboxing works when you have fixed schedule and fix team size, but the feature set is variable. If your users/customers don’t help you prioritize the choices, the project team will choose which features to implement.”

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