It's Things To Do List Time

No-Frills Calendar

Your Things To Do List and the Index Card

Contributor: Jim Kearney 4/26/2018

Ever get pulled away from an important task and never get back to it until much later or not that day!...?

Wouldn't it be nice if all you had to do was go to your office or workstation and get all the important things you need to get done without interruption? If you are able to do that - count yourself lucky!

In many jobs it is simply not possible and if you work in a retail store it is impossible!

The Challenge?

Getting back to doing your most important priorities quickly and getting them done! The key is staying focused. But this does NOT happen naturally. Without a plan a bunch of time can be wasted.

The Things To Do List: Is a list you develop that you might forget to do today.

It is not a list of thing you do every day as part of your daily responsibilities. (That's a task list).

It's also not a list of things that need to get done tomorrow, next week or next month. (That for your calendar or your tickler file).

This Plan Has Two Important Steps and an Index Card:

Step One: Go home at the end of your workday with your plan in place for the next day.

Use a fresh "Things-To-Do" form. You can do the following on a computer or by hand.

  • Enter those things that were not done that day along with the new priorities that have come up during the day.
  • Priorities your list (1,2,3 or A, B, C, or different colors codes.)
  • Identify the top three priorities for the next day. (Give those a symbol like a star, circle them or a color.)
You may find it easier to do this on your computer but be sure to print it out. It really does not help to have any list that needs to be quickly looked at several times a day out of sight. Make it visible in a place that says, "I'm important look at me!"

Friendly Thought: If your desk tends to be a little or really messy, I suggest, taking care of that is a top priority. So put it on your list; if you can find it.

Place your completed list on your desk or work station, turn it face down (symbolizing, for yourself, it's the end of the day) and go home leaving your work at work.

About Your "Top Three Priorities": They must be absolutely what you need to get done the next day.

  • Things that move a project forward.
  • Time sensitive and important items.
  • Your boss told you to get that done!
  • Having Coffee with that new or old friend - Uh, NO!
    That should be on your calendar.

So here is your goal the next day: Complete your top three priorities and not transfer any one of the three to the next day.

Step Two: - the next day...

Before you do anything, when you arrive at work, turn over your prepared list. (Be flexible, top priorities can change overnight).

Staying Focused Does Not Mean
Doing A Task Without Interruptions!

The Index Card: Is very important to this Time Management System.

Write your top three priorities on an index card and carry it with you.

Refer to it often and any time you finish a task or after any distraction. It will really help you stay focused getting you re-engaged with your task quickly.

During the course of the day new projects and tasks will come up. If they are urgent and need to be taken care of right away - do that. Otherwise use the back of your index card to make a note for your T.T.D List.

Check off each goal as they are completed on the index card and when you get back to your desk or station extend that satisfaction by checking off each completed task on the T-T-D Form. Add any new tasks. You'll need all that information later.

Complete a new index card. Continue knocking away the other important items of the day.

At the end of your day repeat Step One.

Don't beat yourself up if it does not happen perfectly each and every day; stuff happens. Just stick to the process. Staying focused and getting your top priorities done is your ultimate goal.

  • Use this simple tool for 21 days and you will not be able to start your day without it.

  • You will be able to leave your day's work and not take it home. It's covered!

  • Your plan is ready for your next workday for a quick start!.

  • You will be more productive for your business, your boss, your success!

  • Save your crossed out lists of accomplishments in a folder or dedicated drawer. They can help in understanding your workflow and future self management needed adjustments.


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