Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Do List Options

To-do list book.
Image by koalazymonkey via Flickr
The first thing you should think about when you are getting prepared to make you to do list is what you are going to use to keep track of it. Are you going to keep a notebook with your lists in it? This can work as long as you remember to keep your notebook with you all the time and keep it in a place where it is easily accessible on your desk. 

Or, maybe you'd prefer to use a software program. Outlook has a To Do list feature, which is great if you only need to access it from one computer. But many of us will need to access that list from multiple places. In that case you might want to use something like the G-mail To Do list feature. That means you can access it from where ever you are.

There are also various plug ins that you can use such as ReminderFox, a great Firefox plug-in. I just started using this at home on my laptop and I quite like it. You can also use a template like this one from Mind Tools. You might need to experiment with a couple of them to find out what works best for you but once you find one that works you'll be glad that you took the time to look around.

Now that you've decided what tool you are going to use to keep your To Do List write down all the tasks that you need to complete. Break down larger ones in manageable tasks. Break them down even more if they still seem too big. Generally speaking, tasks should take no longer than 1-2 hours to complete. My preference is one hour segments. Of course, by the time you are done this might seem like a pretty huge list but prioritizing will make it seem less intimidating. Prioritizing will break down your list into what is most important and what can be forwarded to the next day if you don't have time to do them all. And I have to admit, that happens often with me! But that's what priorities are for right? Use an ABC system or a 123 system - either one serves the purpose. Designate a letter or number to each task. Now re-write the list in order of priority. And you're done. You should have a list now that will help you get done what you need to get done and keep you aware of where your priorities lay.
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