To some, it may seem a little too early for the make-a-list-check-it-twice season, but where just about any job is concerned, list making is a good idea any time of the year.
In my office, you’ll find a wall covered in multiple dry erase boards, a chalkboard, and a corkboard. Each board serves a different purpose; even the color of dry erase marker I select depends on the project I’m brainstorming / planning for. Quite a system, right?
If only I would use it the way i had originally planned!
Over the course of the past year, I’ve downloaded multiple organization apps to my iPhone. I get about as far as searching for and installing them, and then, I never open them again. Wasted space, wasted time, all in the name of organization.
So what really works for me, as well as the rest of the ladies in my office?
Start with handwritten lists. There’s something exciting about putting a check mark beside an item on a list, and it makes me want to check off more. Starting a work day off by making a list can help one feel energetic and focused, which can lead to a much more productive 8-9 hours. Without a list, a busy individual may run from task to task, project to project with little aim. Revisiting the list at the end of the day is a great way to see exactly what’s been accomplished, what’s left, and what the main priorities are for the next day. Nothing (and no one) should be left behind!
The typical day rarely fits into a neatly written to-do list, as there are many unforeseen tasks and new projects popping up which can throw it out of whack. The list shouldn’t be relied on as a solid-schedule solution – it should be used as a guide of sorts. It’s important to remain flexible, while at the same time focusing on prioritized to-dos as your day blows by.
I make lists for just about everything going on in my life, and when I’m not list making, I’m handwriting dates in planner (I just can’t seem to get on the iPhone/iPad organizational app train.) When I was in college, I remember a classmate asking me how I remained focused with so much going on. “I’m a little obsessive about making lists”, I replied. She asked, “how do you have enough time to make lists?”
The time I waste trying to remember something I need to do is much more than the time I spend jotting down a quick list to get my day going.
How do you stay focused and on track throughout your busy work week?