Highlight- The great thing about a to-do list is it keeps us from forgetting things both big and small. The bad thing about a to-do list is we treat it like a restaurant menu. We ponder and then pick what we feel like doing. Too often, that leaves little time for the big projects or deadline oriented things. Keep a highlighter with your to-do list. Choose 2-3 things each day that are your most important items. Make it your goal to finish the highlighted items each day even if other to-do things get held over to the next day.
Eat Your Frog- This saying represents the worst thing on your to-do list. Your “frog” is that thing you dread doing because it will take too much time or isn’t a task you enjoy. One of the most productive things you can do is to always eat your frog first. Do the worst first and the rest of the day will be smooth.
Capture Thoughts– Add to-do list items as they float through your brain. When you remind yourself to call someone, write it down. Otherwise, your brain will go into a repeat and continue to remind you instead of focusing on the task at hand.
Get Personal- Integrate your personal to-do items with your work ones so you can keep a grip on what needs to get done in a given day.
Stay on Track- Use to-do lists to stay on track with projects. For big projects that won’t be finished in one sitting, start the job with a master checklist of all the steps in that project- or at least as far out as you can project. As you return to that project, you’ll easily be able to see where you left off. Add notes to your to-do list when you stop working on the project so you know what you intended to do next. It saves a lot of reinventing the wheel time!
Until next time …