Don’t you just love lists? I know I do. I am about as organized as a hurricane and easily distracted like a labradoodle so I often make lists to help me focus, prioritize and let’s not forget: to prevent myself from going into total and utter mental breakdown mode.
I have always worked with them on and off but the busier I am, the more lists become my necessary liferaft. Lately I have responsibilities in a few different areas, which is risky for someone like me who loses the sight of the big picture. Lists often prevent me from a) freaking out and b) forgetting items in areas.
Over time I figured out how I personally work best with to-do lists. I have taken quite a few ideas from Brian Tracy, whose book I reviewed and who incidentally Gala Darling wrote an excellent piece about last week, containing some of his best tips and advice. Click here to read it, I think it’s very good.
So here’s how I personally work my to-do lists.
I have this little ringed booklet that will costs you next to nothing at HEMA. DON’T get me started on my love for HEMA office supplies. I LOVE ALL OF IT. I could forever exclaim my joy, but maybe another time. Bigger task at hand.
Anyway, if it’s a short to-do list for just one day, it looks like this. As you can see, I have had quite a dutiful Saturday.
Now, the letters you see circled indicate their importance. I always have to focus on the A’s & B’s of the day. These items are most important. By doing these first you prevent yourself from procrastinating by doing less important tasks and even if you can’t finish your entire to-do lists, you will still have done the most important things you could have done that day.
Sometimes I have more than one and that’s when you can work with a A1, A2 or B1, B2, B3 system.C is sort of meh-in between: if you have the time you can do it but they’re not as big of a deal as the A’s & B’s. D stands for Delegate (definitely true here, lots of people are doing my job for me*) and E stands for Eliminate, meaning you can cross it off altogether*.
However, I only use the one-day list if I either have only a few things to do or one day to do it (like with a deadline or going on a holiday or something).
Normally my to-do lists look like this: I look at the things I got to do on more of a multiday or weekly basis and divide it into categories like Writing, Work, Social, Health, and Other. I usually take a few days to finish the lists and then either update the old one or start a new one.
This works best for me personally: Multiday/Week-based to-do lists in categories. Working like this, I can keep checking off items and get in a productivity flow. Which I love. Until I’m distracted by the Internet of course.
Do you have any brilliant to-do list or efficiency tips? Please share in the comments for other readers and myself. The work to (try and) be productive is never done.