Topic Summary: Address criticism brought up in the comments of Elliot’s post “Todo Lists Delegate Work Away From Your Conscious Mind”
Goal: come to a resolution of the issue
CF relevance: resolving disagreement
**Do you want unbounded criticism? yes
That’s a good distinction to point out, thank you.
My first post on this forum was written as a stand-alone and posted in the unbounded section. Elliot ended up moving my post into the comment section of the relevant article. This gave me the impression that if I want to post about an article that Elliot wrote, I should post about it in the comments of that article.
At the same time, Elliot recently had to move one of my replies to the “off topic” section. And now you’re telling me that my “todo lists are bad” post wasn’t on topic either. Seems like I’m repeatedly making an error on this issue.
I checked the site FAQ to see if it had some guidelines to explain when posts are considered on/off topic.
The guideline I saw in the FAQ was:
“Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.”
I also noted that the original post was in a specific category of the forum:
Elliot Temple - Discuss Elliot Temple’s articles and ideas.
That sounds like there might be stricter guidelines regarding replies. And that the replies should exclusively discuss Elliot’s ideas. But there isn’t a lot of detail in the about section:
It’s not clear to me how to determine when a post will take a topic in a “radically different direction”.
For example, I think Elliot’s post was about the benefits of offloading mental work from your mind. And how todo lists are a tool you can use to offload mental work.
I wanted to point out a flaw in todo lists (as Elliot described them): they don’t take into account the time component of a task. I tried to provide an alternative that helps you remember tasks and lets you offload the time component of those tasks. So that you can achieve more of the benefits that Elliot talked about.
That seems like a related discussion to me.
Your original criticism said:
That doesn’t sound like taking the topic in a radically different direction, to me. The scope of the article was offloading mental work from your mind, and I was providing an alternative method for offloading mental work from your mind.
My point was that calendars are better for offloading work from your mind than todo lists.
Is criticizing and providing an alternative not “engaging with”? Or maybe you think I didn’t provide a decisive criticism? Or that the post wasn’t about todo lists, and that by criticizing todo lists I was engaging with the article in bad faith?
Could you explain more why you think my reply took the topic in a radically different direction?
I think the important part is allocating the time required to complete the task. You can call it a schedule, or a todo list with specific times and dates. The alternative is to keep the scheduling, time allocations, deadlines, etc. all in your mind, which I think adds a lot of additional mental work.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t clear. I did mean that people should stop using todo lists. Here’s the example I gave:
Collecting tasks to be scheduled at the end of the day is different than a todo list. First, you should never expect any of those tasks to get done while they’re on the list. You never actively check the list. You add tasks, but during the day it’s a black box that you don’t look inside. You can have a daily session booked in your calendar to schedule new tasks. That would be the only time you look inside the “black box” and move all the tasks into your schedule.
It is a list, but not really a traditional “todo” list. I could have made that more clear in my original post, sorry.
(I also notice I wrote the above in second person. Does it come off as pushy to you? I didn’t mean it to sound like I’m trying to lecture you and personally tell you what to do.)
That wasn’t the original issue you brought up though. I believe this was your original criticism:
So I shared some examples of how I thought the article was partly about todo lists:
I’m not sure how you saying the tips are relevant to both calendars and todo lists relates back to your original criticism.
What information do you think is missing from the schedule to make it complete? Once I’ve broken a task into components and scheduled them into my calendar I no longer have to think about the task at all (in my experience).
Thanks again for your feedback