Work It Wednesday ~ In our Weekly Productivity Program today is the day of the week we focus on WORK ING OUR LIST. Putting the proverbial “nose to the grind stone”! It is such a relief to get through a lot of the tasks or mini-projects on your list that stack up fast because you put them off but really do not take a lot of time to complete, like returning phone calls, filing, invoicing, cleaning the email inbox and so on. When you get these kinds of tasks done and “crossed off” you are motivated to sail through the rest of the week with Finish It Friday in sight and the personal reward you set for yourself!
Tracking Your To-dos With a List…
Having a place where you write down your “to-dos” is very important. You might be a digital person and prefer to keep them on your computer either in Excel, Word, Evernote or a calendaring program like Google Calendar with their task section. I prefer to have it written out on paper so no matter where I go I have it and I can CROSS THINGS OFF. You body responds to physically crossing things off a list when they are done better than if you were to “digitally” check it off. There is a release of endorphins, a positive feeling, and a sense of accomplishment when you can actually with a pen cross things off your list.
Lists Lists and More Lists…
How many lists of things to do do you have? Do you use stickies everywhere, little pieces of paper, several different note books, your memory or the computer OR do you do anything to track your lists of to-dos? How many lists should you have?
Well the first thing, in order to be productive, you must be or get organized with your to-do list(s). Using stickies, little pieces of paper or several notebooks is not productive. Have one central place to keep your to-do list. This takes building that habit of writing them in that place no matter what and always going back to it to review them. We recommend the Tickler File – it is an easy system to work with and very easy to set up.
Some people have several to-do lists – one for home, one for family, one for business (and if they have more than one business, there is a list for each business), and one to track big projects. Being productive you will want to find a way that works for you to have these all in one place – color coding works well in the Tickler File – using different colors of papers for each kind of to-do list keeps them together but separate. It is important to keep your “looking” for things to a minimum that is why having them in one place is a helpful thing to your day.
How many lists are too many? This I can say will go into a personal preference category. I would suggest to minimize the amount of lists you have going – that just gives you one more thing to track – maybe combine family and home lists if you have them separate now. Come up with a coding system so you can differentiate them from one another on that list so you can write them down together knowing they are different. For example, I have one list to track my client to-dos, I put their initial in front of the task so I know who it is for. If it is a MUST PRIORITY that day I asterisk it too. I start my day with all the asterisks and then move through my to-do list.
Are You a List Hoarder?
What do yo not want to become is a List Hoarder…. This is a person that has lists everywhere but never looks at them, never crosses anything off, and then one of the tasks becomes going through your task to-do list piles to see what has been done and what was forgotten! What a complete waste of time!! If you do this, commit to stop doing it and work on a better way to spend your time.
Find That System For Your To-Do Lists!
Finding a system to work with in being organized is the first hurdle to being more productive. Again, we recommend the Tickler File system – it is easy, expandable, mobile, and customizable. Our productivity clients have raved about how it has changed how they do things now and they get a lot more done in a week. The important thing is you find a system to keep your lists.
Once you have your system picked – next is to put it into place. Remember, starting any new system takes building a habit – do not get discouraged if you forget to go back to your to-do list every time – just work at making it a habit to get into. You should be sure to review the list every night prior to ending your day and making sure your to-do lists are set up for the next morning.
The key is progress in your productivity!
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Paul J. Meyer quotes