Future Bhikkhu wrote:I guess that I find it especially difficult to note intention before I do the task. Is this absolutely necessary at the beginning?
Not necessarily. If you are practicing "noting," though, it may be part of the instruction to do so in that case. "Noting" is a method of practice that is often discussed in the Mahasi Sayadaw method of teaching. It is meant to develop both mindfulness and clear comprehension. It can be a very useful practice for a beginner.
In general, though, just do the best you can with where you are currently at in your practice. Mastery will come in increments. Just be patient and diligent in your practice, and these details will work themselves out naturally.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV