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Use a To Do list

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Having a to do list can sometimes be the number one reason for not getting things done! It may start well, but gradually has all sorts of random tasks added to it. Maybe you would then choose whichever task you felt most comfortable with and avoid anything too difficult.

This is not a to do list - it is the road to frustration, disappointment and burn out!


 
Categorise your tasks

There are many theories on how to organise a to do list – and many ways of doing it wrong. I like to put my tasks into four categories by priority according to whether it’s business critical.

  • Do it
  • Date it
  • Delegate it
  • Dump it
Do It

The tasks that absolutely have to be done now or there will be a problem. These tasks usually have a defined and often tight time frame, such as returning a client call about a meeting that afternoon, or completing work that had an agreed deadline of that day.

Date activate it

Everything that can be planned in advance such as updating your website, or issuing monthly invoices. These tasks should be scheduled.

Delegate it

Anything in this quadrant needs to be done urgently but is not business critical. These tasks should be delegated to an employee or virtual assistant so that you can concentrate on the first two categories.

Dump it

If there is no urgency and it is not important then you have to ask yourself the million dollar question....what’s the point of doing it? I suggest you celebrate when you can put a task into this category as it no longer needs to be done!

Final thoughts on to do lists
  • be flexible enough to adapt your to do list to whatever may crop up during the day so you can respond appropriately to changing priorities and client demands.
  • Reassess and reorganise your list at the end of every day so that next time you arrive at your desk you have a clear focus on what you will be doing that day.