Top Tips for Your To Do List
The key to feeling organised and on top of your work load is LISTS!
The reality is we all have a lot of things to do at work. I often say that we could work 24/7 and there would still be more work to do. When we accept that it's impossible to get it all done, we're able to put a plan in place where we can work through our priorities one task at a time.
I have found that lists are the best way to stay organised and feel as though we have accomplished important tasks by the end of the day.
I like to keep things as simple as I can so I've put together some tips that I use with my own lists at work that have increased my levels of efficiency and sense of satisfaction at the end of a work day.
1. I recommend having two lists at work. One is a master list - this is where you write down everything you think of that needs to be completed (kind of like a dumping of sorts!)
The second list is a daily 'to do' list.
2. At the beginning of each day (or the evening before) choose 3-5 items from the master list and transfer them to your daily 'to do' list.
3. When selecting the items from the master list only select the highest priority items, ie the tasks that need to be done that day or the day after.
4. Begin one of your tasks from your daily 'to do' list first thing in the morning while you are fresh and motivated.
5. Try and do at least one task from your daily list before you check emails or make phone calls. (before the distractor factor kicks in). Continue to make your way through your list throughout your working day.
6. Have a pen and paper nearby so you can add items to your master list as you think of them. Better on the paper than cluttering up your head space.
7. If people ask you to do something, ask them to write it down on a post it note, and then transfer it to your master list.
8. When requests come through emails, if they will take you 3 minutes or more to action, add it to your master list. Otherwise action it on the spot.
9. At the end of the day if you didn't get to a task on your daily 'to do' list, transfer it to the next day.
10. When you have finished with the daily 'to do' list, screw it up and toss it in the bin. There is something empowering about this small action!
11. Cross your completed items off your master list. I usually re-write this master list at the end of each fortnight (as it starts to look a little messy!)
Don't convince yourself that your master list is only temporary - that once you get it done you'll be happy. This rarely happens. You will always find new things to put on the list.
It's important to remember that life is not about getting it all done. You'll struggle to have a sense of peace and well being if you are obsessed with getting it all done.