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Organise Your To Do List
We all have a To Do list as long as our arm, any many of us have to steel ourselves to look at it as a whole mile long list of what we have to do can seem overwhelming to say the least. Try this practice for a week and see if you find you actually get more done and feel less like your drowning in a whole heap of stuff to do.
At the end of the working day have a good look at your To Do list and rate everything on it between 1 and 4. Only mark items with a 1 if they are those that absolutely must be done within the next 24 hours or the sky will fall down, the seas will boil (you get the picture). Items marked with a 2 are those that absolutely must be done, but not necessarily within the next 24 hours, they could perhaps wait one more day. Items marked with a 3 are those that you could actually delegate to someone else. If you work with My Virtual Assistant that could be us and it could perhaps be tasks like getting your accounts in order, writing that sales letter, setting up or writing articles for your blog or putting together that Customer Relationship Management system. Items marked with a 4 are those which could actually fall off the bottom of the list and no-one would really notice. Cross them out now and let it go – there are only so many hours in the day.
Ok, so now you have a long list with lots of items with rankings of between 1 and 4. Transfer all the items ranked 1 to a new list that we’ll call the ‘NOW List’. Write them down in order of priority with those at the top being the most important. Next transfer all of the items marked 2 to a new list we’ll call the ‘Standby List’. Next make a ‘Delegate List’ and put on it everything marked 3 that you can get someone else to do – then delegate it! Send it to My Virtual Assistant, your secretary or whomever you have to delegate to. All items marked 4 can now be consigned to the bin.
Now tidy your desk and forget it for the evening.
The following morning, when you get to your desk, before you do anything and I mean anything, so that includes before collecting your email, making any calls, opening the post or making your first cup of coffee, do the first three things on your NOW List. No ifs, buts or excuses, just do them. When they are done schedule in the rest of the tasks in the NOW List for the rest of the day. If there is simply too much and you cant see how to get all of the NOW List tasks done in one day, revisit the list. See if some of it can be delegated. If you can’t delegate items on the list can you delegate something else that takes up your valuable time so you can clear some space. For example you can divert your calls to a call handling service, get your emails filtered and replied to by an email service. If you have no one to perform these tasks speak to My Virtual Assistant to see how we can help you.
As more To Do items occur to you throughout the day, add them to you Standby List. If you have time to do them at the end of the day great, if not you can relax in the knowledge that they are written down and will be re-evaluated again at the end of the day.
At the end of the day take your NOW List and Standby List and go through the process again. Transfer immediately any items from your NOW List onto a new NOW List for tomorrow. Then go through your Standby List and rank the items as before. Then add the 1’s to the new NOW List, the 2’s to the new Standby List and the 3’s to a new Delegate List. Simple but very, very effective.
I’d love to hear if you find this system useful and end up calmer and more organised as a result. So try it for a week and let me know how you get on.
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“Hints and Tips provided by Justine Curtis of http://www.my-va.com”