How The 'Magic List' Method 10x'd My Professional Career

Ev Chapman
May 12, 2022
2 min read

Open loops are one of the biggest productivity and money drains in any organisation.

I started my career as a receptionist and executive assistant. Early on there was one time when my boss drove an hour to an appointment that I had failed to confirm. And no one was at home 😱. Rookie mistake.

It wasn't that I didn't try. I made the call, left a message & ticked it off my to do list.

But that didn't mean it was confirmed. To do lists are deceptive, because not every task is black and white - they are all in varying stages of 'getting to done.' This is why I operate from magic lists now.

Magic lists are like holding areas for tasks that you can't take action on right now. Here's how they work:

The Waiting List. Anything that I am currently waiting for something on goes into my waiting list. An email I've sent that I'm waiting for a reply. Something I've delegated to a team member or a question I'm waiting on a reply back.

The Agenda List. Rather than pestering my team with 100 Slack messages a day I tag anything I need to talk about with agenda & the person's name (or meeting name). That way when I get on a chance to chat I have a list of things we can get through in bulk.

Task Inbox. So many tasks come up throughout the day from meetings, conversations, Slack, Email... For all of those, I tag them with sparktask and they end up in my Task Inbox. That way at the end of the day I have one place I can go & sort through everything.

These three magic inboxes saved my career & made me a far more valuable employee because I'm focused on closing loops fast.

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