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Re: [O] orgmode for many continuous tasks?

From: Mycroft Jones
Subject: Re: [O] orgmode for many continuous tasks?
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:34:34 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.22 (2013-10-16)

Peter, it sounds like we have the same issues and need the same solution.
House repairs and estate upgrades are on the menu.  As are tasks at the Maker
Space, building various bits of furniture &c

Is there some sort of rugged tablet?

Ok, here is what I have in mind:  at the end of the day, put in org mode what
you've done.  Then it will try to "balance the tree" and create an ordered list
of tasks for you.  You can "defer" tasks, and if you give a reason, such as it
needs to wait for a particular time or subtask, then that subtask goes right
back in the tree to take part of the balancing.  Then you print the list on
paper, sorted from top priority to least.  Then you carry the list around with
you during the day.  Does that sound good?  I haven't yet found a tablet
computer rugged enough to stand being dropped out of a tractor into the mud.
Or stepped on by a cow.  And I hate typing on them.


On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 07:58:02AM -0400, Peter Neilson wrote:
On Mon, 25 Sep 2017 03:21:51 -0400, Mycroft Jones <address@hidden> wrote:

I'm wondering if org-mode can do this:

I have many tasks. Some are one off. But many are tasks that will take a period of time, days, weeks, months. I need to schedule a bit of time every day. Over time I can complete the tasks by plugging away. But I have so many. Half hour chunks work for some tasks, 1 or 2 or 3 hour chunks work best for others.

1) writing 3 different books
2) learning 2 different languages
3) 2 different types of exercise exercise
4) 3 different ongoing tasks at work
5) watching videos that friends send me
6) reading books on my night stand
7) various one-off tasks
8) scheduled items, where I have to do them at a scheduled time.

So, for each broad category of task, there are subtasks. So far, it looks like orgmode is good. But, what I'd like is to automatically generate scheduling suggestions for the day. For instance, if I've been putting too much time into languages, then schedule more time for writing the books. And if I've focused too much on one book, remind me to put time into another book. I'd like the scheduler to be a sort of time-accounting system that suggests work for the day
in a way that balances the tree.

Within each branch of the tree, I'd like the branches to be allocated roughly
equal time, over a period of weeks and months, on a day to day basis.

Is there a simple workflow in orgmode that can do this? I haven't done elisp for 10 years, but I'm comfortable with it. Would this be simple to implement?


Hmmm. I have similar problems, but on a somewhat more difficult level. A lot of my tasks are farm-related and are thus self-driven rather than org-mode-driven. For instance, two barn roofs need repair, and seeing them listed as TODO in an agenda does nothing to get started on them, or on the sub-tasks necessary to starting the work on the roofs. But when I look at the roofs, and thus am reminded of "* TODO Repair barn roofs", it's always when I'm already at work on something immediately more pressing.

But it gets worse! If I think of a task that needs to be done, and write it into one of my TODO lists, then I tend to ignore it. Adding it to the schedule dismisses it from any immediate concern, and (as I alluded before) much of my work is outside, on the farm, nowhere near my computer. It's almost like Ko-Ko's solution in G&S's operetta 'The Mikado':

Ko-Ko: When Your Majesty says "Let a thing be done", it’s as good as done, practically it is done, because Your Majesty’s will is law. Your Majesty says "Kill a gentleman", and the gentleman is to be killed, consequently that gentleman is as good as dead, practically he is dead, and if he is dead, why not say so? The Mikado: I see. [Dramatic Pause] Nothing could possibly be more...satisfactory!

My problem with org mode itself thus becomes yet another action item (to be ignored):

* TODO Devise a way to project my agenda (in unavoidable brilliance) onto the side of the barn, or perhaps embroider it into the fleece of my sheep (who * TODO need to be shorn).

Plausible (or implausible) solutions to my problem or to Mycroft's are hereby solicited.

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