Gulp List

My Thursday Morning Gulp List (TMGL) methodology developed over the course of several years. What is my TMGL? The TMGL is comprised of the prior seven days’ worth of one-off administrative items needing completion.

Gulp List Example

  1. Thank you card, scholarship committee
  2. Thank you card, care package
  3. Purchase airline tickets, girlfriend’s wedding in June
  4. Secure hotel room in June
  5. Find summer living space
  6. Respond to emails (Ms. X, Mr. Y, Ms. Z)
  7. Get airline miles applied to account
  8. Get bank fee removed
  9. Submit scholarship application
  10. Plan summer internship route

TMGL does not include daily or weekly routine items (household chores, paying bills, workouts etc.), only those items which need a time and a place to get done. The reason this list works for me is because I spend 3-4 hours of my mornings on creative/critical thinking projects — mainly my research and attendant writing — during the course of which items needing attention will occur to me. Since they do not need to get done that minute, items are written down on my Thursday morning calendar. This clears the space in my head for what really matters — my One Thing à la Keller & Papazan — and allows my brain to rest easy knowing these items will not be forgotten and will get done.

I chose Thursday morning for two reasons: first, come Monday morning I am excited to get after my interesting, brain intensive work. This energy carries solidly through Wednesday. By Thursday Morning my brain needs a change of pace.

Second, attacking my Gulp List on Thursday morning means that if I am waiting on a return call, there is still a day and a half left of the business week to get the task handled and not have it kick over into the next week. Waiting until Friday afternoon to get after my Gulp List meant several items kept carrying over denying me the satisfaction of a completed list at week’s end.

There must be a cutoff for your list (so you know when it is done!) and mine is Wednesday evening. Without a weekly cutoff, items just keep getting added and the list is never done. Having a finish line is IMPERATIVE.

Critical Attributes for TMGL

  1. Only one-offs are included
  2. Items are important, but not in need of immediate attention
  3. List cutoff is Wednesday evening, new items added start next Thursday

What’s on your Gulp List?


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