logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Organization Site

BellaOnline's Organization Editor

g

Get Things Done - Use a To-Do List


List making is an easy way to catalog all of the information and ideas that fill your head. Putting your thoughts and to-doís in writing can help you track and analyze them. It can also help you to prioritize. To-do lists can be a great tool for helping us keep track of all the things we can't afford to forget, as well as acting as a holding place for ideas with potential.

Despite using lists, why do some people still lose track of and forget things that are vitally important? There are two main reasons. The first issue is that we have to actually reference the lists we create. The second reason is that our lists may be crafted in a way that we canít efficiently use.

Letís take a look at the first issue, referencing the to-do list. If you create a list but take no action, it is essentially an exercise in futility. You may experience the momentary benefit of feeling unburdened as you dump all the information cluttering up your mind, but that's it.

Most likely all the things on your list will requires some kind of action. Here's the truth, if you donít schedule a time to take that action it will not get done. If you have a long list of to-doís and just keep hoping they will get done you should steel yourself for some serious disappointment. Hope is not a viable strategy. You must assess the time a task will take, look at your calendar and actually schedule the task.

Many people overlook the critical step of assigning time to their to-doís. We schedule appointments and meetings. We do that because we know if we didnít they would never happen. But we mistakenly treat our to-do tasks in a different way. We assume, and we hope, we will get them done. Then when we donít we wonder why. If it is important enough to be on your list, it is important enough to have a time attached.

You must link every important task to a time. You can schedule in each task just as you would an appointment. Or you can block out a certain segment of time and dedicate yourself to working on your to-do list tasks.

The second reason that causes to-do lists to fail us is that they are not created in a way that we can efficiently use. Far too frequently there is a randomness to list creation. We just start dumping all the things that are circulating in our mind, one after the other. When we look back at the list there is a no connection between one item and the next. If a list goes from pick up dry cleaning to create marketing plan to send party invitations, our brain will have difficulty processing the tasks.

Sometimes a to-do item is so grand that we canít be sure what our first step should be. In cases like this the to-do list fails because we didnít break down the tasks into manageable segments. If you look at a to-do item and have to think about what action you should take, that's a clear sign your list isn't working.

A to-do list should give a clear focus. We should be able to glance at it and understand exactly what our next action needs to be. We should not have to contemplate how to proceed. If our to-do tasks are overwhelming we will spend our time pondering how to get started, rather than starting.

So, what can be done to make a list work really well? First of all, consolidate your lists. Keeping all your to-doís and ideas in one place will give you greater control.

The next step is to inventory what categories your to-doís usually fall into. For example my categories include a some that are business specific (e.g., marketing), then I have family/friends, financial, volunteer, personal, and household. As needs change, I add additional category headings. For example during the summer months I add a garden/yard category.

The other thing we can do is break down big tasks into manageable steps. If you have written down something like 'plan family reunion', how will you know what action to take first. In this case family reunion might need to become a category of its own. Then you would break down the planning process into individual steps. For example, the first few steps might read: research locations, decide on location, book location. The idea is that you should be able to look at the individual to-do item and know exactly what you need to do.

A good list provides laser like focus. See it, do it, be done with it. Always keep in mind, a task worth doing is a task worth scheduling.

************
Recommended Resource
Get your free Clear Clutter and Learn How To Organize E-Course. It takes you through the clutter clearing and organizing process in six simple steps!
Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Twitter Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Facebook Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to MySpace Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Del.icio.us Digg Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Yahoo My Web Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Google Bookmarks Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Stumbleupon Add Get+Things+Done+%2D+Use+a+To%2DDo+List to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Organization Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Kelly Jayne McCann. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kelly Jayne McCann. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kelly Jayne McCann for details.

g


g features
How To Declutter Your Mind

Decluttering - The Truth About Your Stuff

Smart Packing Tips

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor