Ever look up at the clock at the end of the day and wonder where the time went? Do you freak out because something you needed to get done fell through the cracks? As a manager and organizer, I find myself in this situation a lot. I know there are a lot of important projects that need my attention, and sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work on your hands. Here's a simple rule I follow: start your day with a hand-written list. It helps out if you work in a fast-paced environment to give yourself time before you jump into the day to organize yourself.
There are lots of systems out there for making "to-do" lists (multiple apps and programs), so go ahead and try them out to see which one fits your boat. Rememberthat the actual content of your lists should always flow from your overall work plan.
Some helpful tips:
- Take 5-10 minutes before you start your day to think about what you need to get done. Write out a list.
- Step back from the list and highlight the 3-4 things that you must get done.
- Keep your list close by throughout the day and look at it from time to time tomake sure you are on task.
- Cross off the tasks that get done; roll the unfinished items over to the next day.
Without a list, and tasks ordered by priority, you are rudderless. Once you've got your priorities for the day straight, you are in a better position to respond to unexpected pulls on your time.
Do you keep a to-do list? Let us know in the comments on the blog.
Sue Chinn is Training Director at NOI.