Saturday, 16 July 2011
How To Make a To-Do-List
Here is an article I wrote some time ago on creating a to-do list.
Making a list is probably the best time management tool ever. There is no need for fancy software or a three day seminar that costs a fortune. Making a list is easy, simple and direct.
Here are some tips on how to make a to-do list at work.
1. Set aside a few minutes early in the day or before bed at night dedicated to list making. I find it the best to make a to-do list the next day just ten minutes before I sign-off from my work.
2. Know your peak and down times. We all have a biological clock inside of us and during the course of the day, we will have our peaks and slumps. Usually people are at the peak in the morning before energy running low in the afternoons and peaking again in the late afternoon or evening. It is important you know yours so that you can schedule your tasks accordingly.
3. Start with the most important and urgent task and go down, with each item down the list becoming less urgent and less important. Another way is to list and easy task after a difficult one, to keep you motivated. But I prefer getting the difficult ones settled first. There are no hard and fast rules regarding this, choose what suits you. What is important is that you finish the tasks in your list.
4. Remember to set aside time for breaks, meetings and other routine items that will crop up during the course of the day.
5. Break down your list into smaller sub-list. Assign time slots.
Apart from a to do list, you can list about almost anything. The list below is inspired by what appeared in A Touch of Greatness. I call it The Kaizen List. It is a list that can be used to achieve daily improvement.
1. How can I improve some part of my job?
2. How can I do this differently?
3. How can I increase productivity?
4. How to reduce the cost?
5. How to increase profits?
6. How to save time?
7. How to avoid delays?
8. What other ideas from a different area can be applied to this?
9. How can I express initiative?
10. How can I simplify this?
If you find it difficult to win over a prospect, why not make a list of all the things in your favor. If you are going to the boss to ask for a raise, wouldn’t it better if you go there with a list of all your accomplishments?
The power of making a list is that it clears your mind. It removes the mental block. We all have a thousand things going on in our head all the time, and putting it down in a list helps to figure out things more efficiently.
And making a list is the best time saving tool there is.