Preparing a To-Do List
Too overwhelmed by things needed to be done? The solution is often simple: Start by writing down the tasks that face you, and if they are large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have to do, and until tasks are will take no more than 1-2 hours to complete.
Once you have done this, run through these jobs allocating priorities from ‘’A’’ (very important) to ‘’F’’ (unimportant). If too many tasks have a high priority, run through the list again and demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.
You will then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You will be able to tackle these in order of importance. This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones.
Using Your To-Do Lists
Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you are in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day. In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list and 'chip away' at it.
It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to – if you are running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority. If you have not used To-Do Lists before, try them now: They are one of the keys to being really productive and efficient.