Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Using One To-Do List to Organize for Success

Are you jotting down reminders on multiple sheets of paper, in various notebooks or via sticky notes posted all around your office? If so, how many of those action items are actually getting completed?!? Keeping all your to-do items in one place makes it more likely they will each get completed and aids in prioritizing. However, how do you make a to-do list really operate as a tool to encourage your great success? How do you compile your action items to ensure all of them get done? Read on for tips to best utilize your task management solution...

1. Use what works for you. Test different options to see if your personality and specific needs mesh best with a paper or electronic option, keeping in mind that electronic options allow for reminders while some people remember better what they write down on paper. With smartphones that sync with cloud technology as well as small notebook options, either can be as mobile as needed, but there is no "right" or "wrong" option; just select whichever option is best for you.

2. Remember that it's okay to say "no". When someone asks you to do something, ask yourself "Is this task important? Does this task move me forward in achieving my goals? Is there someone else that should be doing this instead?" Be strategic about tasks you complete versus tasks you decline or delegate, and know that saying "no" can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal.

3. Do not depend on your mind to remember all tasks. Keep one tool (whether smartphone for your electronic option or small notebook for your paper option) with you at all times to continually add tasks as they arise. This "data dump" becomes your master to-do list, from which you pull a daily to-do list at the end of each day as you plan for the following day's activities.

4. Delegate. To get more done, find all the tasks on your to-do list that can easily be accomplished by someone else and, then, delegate those tasks to that person. Sharing tasks empowers the other individual AND opens time in your schedule to complete the tasks that can be done by only you.

5. Delete. Cross non-critical items off your to-do list so they don't nag on you or distract you from what really must get done... Focus on what remains, and relish in how good it feels to remove items from your to-do list.

What techniques do you use to maximize your to-do list's effectiveness? Please share in the Comments section below.
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