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Posts tagged 'to-do list'

How effective is your To-Do list? 

In my work as a time management coach, close to 90% of my clients are unhappy with their to-do list system.  There are often many flaws in their approach, but the most common mistake I see is treating a to-do list as an endless inventory of everything in one's mind, without a practical plan for how to get things done. 

To combat the "junk box" effect of a Master to-do list, I recommend creating what I call an "intelligent" to-do list.........

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How do workers choose what’s most important when their to-do list now goes on for pages?  What administrative services have been cut which create unexpected time sinks? How do they produce quality work when they are distracted with worry? On the other hand, what if your people are suffering from too little to do? 

If recent years were a boon time, and there is a sudden dearth of phone calls, emails and meetings, what should your team do with all their free time? The lack of structure can be very disorienting to workers who have gotten into the habit of being completely reactive.

The result? Harried, anxious workers who feel paralyzed and end up buried in a rut of disorganization and inefficiency.  Managers can combat the time management backlash by concentrating on the Five F’s with their team:

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            When time is limited, you need to find the quickest way to your goal. Finding      shortcuts is not about “cheating” or taking the easy way out—it’s about becoming    a more efficient person. For you perfectionists out there: Remember, it’s usually  preferable to have something completed (even if it’s imperfect) than never done at all.    

            For each item on your to-do list, ask yourself: Is there a quicker way to get this  done? Skipping certain steps can diminish one-time projects. Want to get your photos organized? Instead of waiting for enough time to create artistically perfect albums, try grouping them by date or occasion and placing them in well-labeled decorative photo shoeboxes. Writing a proposal or thank-you note? Use a previously....
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Has organizing your computer files been on your to-do list since last summer? Is there a writing project you've been avoiding like the plague? What about those networking phone calls you've been meaning to get to since the job market got so shaky? What is it that causes you to procrastinate...........?

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In these times of extraordinary economic uncertainty,  most people I talk to are having a lot of trouble focusing.  Worry and anxiety seem to flood the brain with fear adrenaline—making it hard to concentrate, remember anything, put two sentences together, feel effective.  So what do you do about it? First of all, go easy on yourself—taking some comfort in the fact that everyone is in the same boat. Then, get back to basics..........

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