Do Higher Quality Work With The Pigg List

The Pigg List

If you use lists to organize your work this life hack is for you (if you don't use lists – do!).

I've found myself moving between two distinct ways of using lists. Either I just have one big list with minimal organizational overhead. Or I have a dozen lists for work, for kids, for the house, and on and on. Now, I've discovered a third way.

Pigg is a Swedish word that doesn't translate perfectly to English. It's the opposite of tired. You could say it's some combination of "awake", "alert" and "energized". I mostly feel pigg during the first part of the day. This is when my mind is at it's peak and this is when I want to do my creative, analytical, or otherwise mentally challenging work. After lunch I go into "trött" (tired) mode. This doesn't make me completely useless, but I don't exactly create groundbreaking stuff in this mode. It works just fine to do easy but time consuming stuff though, like authorizing invoices or reading through scripts.

The problem is this – when I'm pigg, I tend to go full production mode on things that otherwise feel boring, like authorizing invoices or making that dull but neccessary call to the insurance company. I get a lot done, but I waste prime mental capacity since these things could be done in tired mode.

This is when The Pigg List™ comes into play. It's actually two lists – one pigg list and one tired list.  On the pigg list I put all the stuff that require my full mental capacity. Writing things, analyzing things, solving tough problems. On the tired list I put everything else. And suddenly I don't get distracted when working on creative stuff and I don't feel stressed about challenging work when I'm too tired anyway. It sounds simple and it is, but it's been an awesome productivity boost for me. I recommend you try it.

Interesting fact: It seems like the pigg/tired ratio of items on the lists is about 1/10. I had no idea that this was the case.

Extra bonus for the executives out there: The pigg/tired-list setup is perfect for delegating tasks that don't require you specifically. Consider sharing your tired-list with your assistant.

Required gear: A list app. I used to use Wunderlist but have switched completely to Apple's own Reminders-app for Siri-integration, geofencing and (in my eyes) better design. 

Bonus list-tip: Use an emoji before the list name to visualize your lists to make them faster to spot.

Life HacksWalter Naeslund