Tame Your To-Do List

To-do lists are helpful, because they relieve your brain of the need to remember everything. To effectively organize your time, you actually need TWO different to-do lists: a master list and a daily list. A master to-do list is an on-going, running memory list of everything you want to do someday. A daily to-do list is essentially your plan of what you truly intend to get done today. It's NOT an on-going list of everything you need to do, as in the master to-do list. A daily to-do list is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. It keeps you focused and on-target throughout the day. When you think of something to-do, ask yourself when you're going to do it and record it on the appropriate list: the daily list for today and the master list if not. … [Read more...]

Four Things to Stop Doing at Work

"Ill habits gather by unseen degrees/As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas." -- John Dryden, English poet (Absalom and Achitophel, 1681) Have you updated your NOT-to-do list lately? Most of us are pretty good about compiling daily to-do lists to guide our workflow, and there's no denying that those lists are vital for maximizing productivity. However, in many ways, a list of things you refuse to do is just as important. A not-to-do list doesn't have to be fancy. You simply start by writing down the time-stealing behaviors that you prefer not to take part in; then you review and revise your list periodically, to make sure you don't accidentally slip into habits that damage your productivity and keep you at work too long. Obviously, not-to-do lists will vary from person to person, … [Read more...]