Posts Tagged ‘things’

A different take on the to-do list

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

What is Your Done List Telling You? A different take on the to-do list.

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What is your done list telling you Have you ever considered looking at your “Done List”?  Did you even know you had one?  You do!

We frequently talk about to-do lists and planning, but you often don’t hear us talk about those things that you complete.  Today I’ll share some thoughts on why that is so very important to your ability to meet your goals and get things done.

You see, it is not JUST about taking ANY Action

One of my quotes that gets shared frequently is “You can be busy all day and still have gotten nothing done.”

Do you feel that?  Can you relate?  So often, we are just busy being busy.  That does not necessarily equal productivity.  Being productive means that you are taking action on things that are LEADING you to something. 

Look at Your Done List

1 – At the end of today, make a list of everything you have done. The bigger and the smaller things. You could even do it now.

2 – Next, look through the list.  Check off everything that is leading you towards your goals.

3 – What is your ratio of checked to unchecked? Being busy is not being productive. If your checked is not greater than your unchecked, fix it tomorrow and see stress diminish.




Keep organized even with your To-Do-List @HBR

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment
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What To Do With Your To-Do List

11:35 AM Wednesday March 2, 2011  | Comments (1View)

Last week, in A Better Way to Manage Your To-Do List, I wrote about the importance of using your calendar — not your to-do list — as your main tool to guide what you do in a day.

Transferring items from your to-do list to your calendar will help you make strategic choices about where you spend your time, but it will also leave you with the probability of a long list of items that didn’t fit into your calendar for the day. And that list will simply grow longer and more stressful day by day, a continued reminder of what you aren’t accomplishing. I call it my guilt list.

What do you do with those things?

I have a rule to handle those items: my three-day rule. It ensures that no item on my list ever stays on it, haunting me, for more than three days.

Here’s what I do: after I’ve filled my calendar for the day, I review what’s left on the list. I leave new items, those I just added that day or in the previous two days, on the list to see if they make it onto my calendar the following day.

1. Do it immediately.
2. Schedule it.
3. Let it go.
4. Add it to a someday/maybe list.

There’s one other list I keep and that’s my Waiting list. If I’ve sent someone an email, left a voicemail, or expect to hear back from someone about something, I put that item on my Waiting list. This way I don’t lose track of things I expect from others — and I’m able to follow up if I don’t receive them — but I also don’t have to look at those items every day or confuse them with things I have to actually do. This list is on my computer, and I assign a date and reminder to each item. That way I don’t have to think about what I’m waiting for or when I should review the list. I simply wait for the reminder and if I haven’t received the thing I’m waiting for, I’ll know to follow up or, simply, let go of the expectation of hearing back from the person.