To Do Lists
Do you use one?
Does it reduce over the day/time period?
If you’re like me I use lists for everything – from shopping to business targets and including daily/weekly things to do for my business (and sometimes even for my private/family life when things seem to overwhelm me).
They help to focus on what I have identified as “important” or “essential” tasks for the immediate to medium and sometimes even long-term goals.
If you don’t use lists; I’d be interested to hear how you ensure everything gets done or how you prioritise your business objectives.
Here’s a few tips to help you use a list effectively to achieve your goals (and can certainly be applied to your private life too):
1. Create your list – of say, 20 things to be addressed. Identify the 3 most important things that must be done that day – and do them first thing.
2. Chunk like items together – such as telephone calls to be made. Collate your list of calls to be made with their numbers and information needed for the call. This will enable you to use the time effectively rather than having to start searching for these elements before you can actually call them.
3. Set a time for each item and start your timer. When the time is up and you haven’t finished – identify another slot in your day for this work. If you finish early use the time productively by either starting on the next item or use it for a “time out” to recharge and refocus on the next topic.
4. When requiring focus – create an atmosphere that will enable this focus: turn off your email, twitter, phone so there will be no interruptions and again set the timer. Short bursts of focus are far more productive than a whole day set aside with the ongoing interruptions.
5. Anything you have left at the end of your list: either carry over or decide if they are actually a priority for your business.
6. With large projects: chunk down into smaller tasks and allocate time in your calendar and tick them off as completed against the large project timetable.
7. If you have tasks that are becoming timeconsuming and “not your thing” look to oursource so your time is used more productively, effectively and earns you money.
8. Review your To Do List at the end of the day (or start of the day) to create the next one. This will remind you of your priorities and you can reassess their importance.
I’d be interested to hear your tips and things that work for you. Here’s the thoughts from Richard Branson – who loves his to-do lists.
Keep your focus and use your time well. Your rewards will [taste] (insert your own adjective if you don’t relate rewards to food like me) so much better.
Working with a VA is an option that a great many business people are turning to if you are running out of time to get the tasks on your to-do lists done. Check out my book on How to Hire a Virtual Assistant. Available on Amazon by clicking here
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