There are days when I wonder how I am going to get through the day. Others when I wonder what I did all day. After a few of those, I realized that I needed to be better organized; and I began keeping a working calendar.
Here are some of the tips I was given that have helped me keep the calendar working for me instead of it becoming yet another thing I tried and dropped.
Take time every day, either at the end of the day or first thing, and build a list of things To Do. Just what are these things?
- You want to list activities that will get you closer to your goals. It isnt easy to reach your dreams. It takes effort, being willing to examine what you want and how you want to spend your time. Do you need to learn a skill to reach that dream? Do you need to go to conferences or need to make some personal improvement? Write down something you would like to work on today that will help you move in the direction of your goals.
- Besides activities that will help you meet those goals, you probably have tasks related to work, school, your home life that you need to accomplish. These do not have to be directly or even indirectly related to your goals, but they have to get done. Add these to your To Do list.
- These tasks should not the activities that you will put on an Appointment Schedule, like meetings, doctor appointments and such because they do not have to take up space on your To Do list.
- Another good idea is to check what things are coming up in the days ahead. Are there some things you can do now to prepare for future events and assignments? Some of these things might include research, agenda prep, speech presentation that you can put on your To Do list to prepare for the days ahead.
Now that you have your list, its time to decide what needs to get done in what order. Take 10 minutes every morning to review and prioritize what you need to do that day.
- One way to prioritize uses the High, Medium and Low priority system. Label High Priority tasks with an A. These are vital jobs that are absolutely necessary to get done today. You can then plan your work schedule to get those done.
- Medium Priority tasks get labeled with a B. These need to be done, but could be rescheduled without too much damage. Low Priority tasks are C tasks. These are totally optional. You would like to do them, but there are no consequences if they arent completed.
- The next thing you need to do is to number the tasks as first, second and third for each priority. This way you know what you will tackle in your High Priority As first, second and so on.
I have found that doing this is not enough. If I dont have something to show at the end of the day, I am still not sure what I have accomplished. So when I finish a job, I give it a check. If I decide I dont want to do this, I give it an X to show that I have deleted it. If I just delete it, I wont necessarily remember and I might reschedule it again. When I need to reassign a task to a later date, I mark it with an arrow and write down the date I moved it to.
When I am finished at the end of the day, I like to go over the To Do list, see what was done, what was deleted and what was moved. I also probably have some new things that I will have added to the To Do list throughout the day. I create just the list at night. I dont want to obsess on it overnight. I dont worry about forgetting things since the list is stored in a safe place, outside of my head.
How do you keep track of what you need to do? Please comment in the box below.
Jaco Grobbelaar, owner of BroadVision Marketing, helps business owners and business professionals put marketing strategies in place that consistently secure new clients. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.799.1238. You can Like him at www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing or connect with him on www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar.
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