Task management, you say? Just bullshit.

Irma Harlann
3 min readJul 20, 2017


(#by numerous request of friends)

Over the past few years, I spent every single day on helping people around me achieve their goals. How? I shared my mistakes, failures, and downs in public, I gave valuable advice to everyone but I’ve never used my own guidance with a view to helping myself (it was enough to know it can help others to figure out their problems and find the right solution). Today I can see how successful all of these people have become since then. Actually, they haven’t changed much. They’ve become better. Let’s give a round of applause! I feel I’ve done something important. I’ve made a contribution in other people’s lives. I’ve made myself useful. Today I’m going to do that again.

My mom’s been working in real estate industry for 20 years. She’s the greatest salesperson I’ve ever known or met in my life. Above all, she has a long memory and pretty good with faces. I’ve been listening to her cases for a couple of years and always astounded how incredible she is in dealing with all tasks in/outside the office.

Being an estate agent is not so easy as you may think. According to the wiki, this is a person (or business) that arranges the selling, renting or management of properties. Among other things, you have to be a superhero. I’m serious. And it’s not about being a fucking software engineer and trying to automate every fucking task. You have to work like Duracell, but in 25/8 mode. My mom knows the number of each agreement, a name of each client she’s working with, the layout of every building wherein she sells an apartment. She plans not her day, but a whole fucking week from making an appointments/showcases, estimating cash-flows to closing the complex deals. And what’s more, she’s a lawyer which means a lot of work with documentation! Underline A LOT.

Here’s what I’ve learned from her experience.


Learn to remember as much as possible.


I’ve used a lot of productivity apps (Google Keep, Pomodoro, Forest, Nozbe), Chrome extensions (Todoist, Evernote, Pocket), and notebooks just to make my life easier, more productive and much better. It didn’t work. It just didn’t. One day I’ve stopped wasting my time on naming every single task on Trello, Notion, Todoist or whatever it might be. I started to stick in mind all tasks for a day, for another three days, for a week. Everything I’ve done has been about making written notes (but with no need to re-opened it after, just kept it in mind, you know) and adding only events & calls to my Google Calendar. All meetings I keep in mind, all schedules I keep in mind. When I come to the office, I always know what has to be done by the end of the day. I don’t open a bunch of apps just to check “is there any task I forgot to accomplish?” Hell no.

Do you really need to add a new task and try not to forget to put a “check” after? It’s such a waste of time! It could be replaced by a number of tasks you had remembered YESTERDAY and have accomplished TODAY.

If you work at Google/Apple/Facebook/or any other corporate giant, of course, task-management tools matter. If you’re CEO/Managing Director/VP at the company with more than 40 people, task-management matters. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train your memory. It doesn’t mean you should stop using all favorite apps and write every task by hand.


You always have time for things you put first, right? So let it be your “REDSTAR” task kept in mind, not just a common line-check in the app.

Try it. Feel the difference.