Why an agenda list saves a ton of time

There’s something else I need help with, but I forgot what it was.

I cringe when I hear this because it usually means I’ll have to make an extra trip back to do another job that might have only taken a few minutes extra.

Now, I have a huge appreciation for agendas. Before, the only time I see or hear about agendas are with older people in managerial positions. When I was coaching, and we had division meetings, the director would pull out a paper listing topics needed to be discussed. (To be honest, I didn’t know it was called an agenda until recently!)

When I talk to my boss, and I sometimes won’t remember what questions I had until I walked out of his office. Then, I’d have to go back and interrupt him again. Sure, he’s only a few steps away, but instead of one “interruption”, I’m turning it into three or four. Annoying? Most likely.

Listen – this stuff is for everybody!

If you’re a student, dedicate a sheet of paper for each class or teacher to write down questions throughout the lecture. When they prompt the class to ask questions, or you meet with them in their office, whip out that paper and go through the questions quickly and easily. (I realize I have to actually follow this advice, so someone hold me to this.)

Last week, I had to meet with a counselor. Rather than keeping the questions in my head, I had them written down. It was so much simpler! What if this small tip would’ve shortened how much time I’ve been in college?

Digital Tracking

In my Palm PDA, I have an “@Agendas” category in the Memos section. When you have more than one topic you need to discuss with someone, create a memo with that person’s name. Below their name, list the questions/ideas you want to bounce off them.


I hope I helped you realize that you can use agendas anywhere, not just at work. It’s definitely made my life that much easier. How has using agendas helped you?

Reference: “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“, Chapter 7.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

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