Everyone works differently; personality plays a big part. Finding an effective way to finish your daily tasks will depend upon your personality, the tasks and you.
Whether you use a paper planner, your email calendar, online calendar or wireless phone; you probably have a method to keeping track of your tasks. If not, and you are finding that you are not completing tasks and forgetting items; then you may want to figure out a task list or to-do system.
If you have system in place, does it work well? Do you get to cross off items; or are they continually added to tomorrow’s calendar? Are items forgotten and missed completely?
You may not realize it, but simply having a to-do list does not guarantee everything will get done. You need to back up your list with a system to help you complete what is on your list.
Here are the Top 5 tips I follow to get my to-do list completed and crossed off.
- Update your List. Set aside time at the close of day to update your list for tomorrow. This way you will start your day knowing what tasks must be done. Add in new tasks as assigned and their deadline.
- Block off time to work on tasks. Most people are more productive early in the morning – so it is best to do this first thing. Even before you open your email – emails are one of the biggest procrastination machines out there! You also will fare much better if you work on the more intensive tasks first.
- Order Tasks by time and priority. This will help you manage your time by knowing what is high priority and the time required. If one task has a medium priority but will take 5 minutes and the high priority items will take 1.5 hours. List the 5 minute task first. One more crossed off. Sorting your tasks on your list will allow you to cross off more as completed. Also you can break up longer tasks into chunks of time allowing you to complete more in between.
- Spread tasks out over the week, allowing for other aspects of your work to be fit in. Meetings, client calls and other time – takers are reality; allow and plan in time for them as well.
- When this week’s list is complete; let it be. Having some free space in your daytimers. If all is done that needs to be; adding in more work will mean your list will never be completed. Not to say that if a task must be done that you don’t tackle it. More to say – it’s okay to have a finished list with an end and new work can wait until next week. Use the time for development and be happy with the accomplishments you have made.
What tricks do you use to help you complete your work? I’d love to learn your methods… maybe I can improve on mine?
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