To-Do Lists and More

to-do

In my most recent leadership meeting, I was asked to present skills I wanted to improve.

I decided to start with an easy one: organization. Or rather, efficiency with my time.

I know I’ve shared my struggles with keeping my desk clean and organized, but this time I’m focusing on my work and daily/monthly/yearly to-do lists.

Monday through Friday, I have a multitude of tasks to complete. Month-to-month, there are even more undertakings. And don’t even get me started about looking at the year as a whole. While I’ve been staying afloat so far and managing to accomplish everything before it’s due, I know that as my workload increases, it will only become more difficult to keep my head above the surface and away from stress. I know I need to change my habits now before I could be overwhelmed by my ever-increasing workload. Otherwise, I’ll sink before I even get a chance to swim.

After calling out my organizational skills in the meeting, we talked about practical ways I could attempt to organize and thus, become more efficient with my time. This week, I’ve been experimenting with a few of those ways, and I’ve found two to be very effective.

  1. Monthly Planner
    A monthly planner sits to my left. It is constantly open to the current month, allowing me to easily see an overview of what February looks like. On this calendar, I have all the important due dates — print dates, when e-blasts are going out, meetings, large deadlines, etc. I had attempted to do this same thing on a Google Calendar, and while one for our company exists, I find a hard-copy works best for my personal workflow.
  1. Daily To-Do List
    If you know me well, you know I love Sticky Notes. I have about eight different stacks, in various colors, on my desk right now. The bottom lip of my computer looks like a rainbow was smeared across it. However, I have now made it a priority to make a daily Sticky Note to-do list. Being able to actually scribble items off a list as I accomplish them is rewarding. Plus, the to-do list is constantly in sight, making sure I remember everything I need to accomplish that day. And when the end of the day rolls around, if something hasn’t been marked as done, it will transfer to the next day. So far, this has been one of the most helpful things in increasing my efficiency.

This week, I suggest you make a daily to-do list. Sit down the day before and think about what you want to get accomplished tomorrow. By way of your monthly planner, look ahead and see what’s coming up. Then, plan out what steps tomorrow will ultimately help you in achieving the deadline at the end of the month.

It takes 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the day to do this, but the time it will save you tomorrow is worth it.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.