2017 – the year of the ‘to do’ list

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Social media folk delight in discussing the organisation of academic work. How to manage time. How to organise all that information that comes in and out. How to sort and select tasks in order of their urgency and importance. How to manage various kinds of analysis.

Now don’t get me wrong – I think all this organisation-talk is very useful. It’s great to share approaches, experiences of software platforms and handy hints for getting things done.But I’ve become interested in the writing that anchors all of this self-organisation. I’ve been thinking particularly about the to do list.

Together with the calendar, the to do list is the basis of daily academic practice. A to do list can be seen as simply utilitarian – it’s a way to organise and schedule the work. But I think there is probably more to it than that. The to do list is not simply…

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