I've really been doing my best this month to organize my things to do list, to increase the likelihood of completing 90-100% of the tasks on my list. After reading about how to get things done and accomplish goals, I was incredibly motivated. I recently brought on an assistant & editor to the blog and wanted to ensure I wasn't bringing them into utter madness. So I had to organize everything I had going on.
One thing I'm very good at is making things to do lists. I'm not quite as good as doing everything I've written on said lists.
So, last week when I listened to an archive show of the Smart Passive Income podcast about systematizing - the information was groundbreaking. Batch process your daily or weekly tasks that you repeat. Create a system that once you do something you could "drop" it in this system to complete it. And essentially organize the process - not just what needs to be done, but when it needs to be done.
That was the number one reason I wasn't getting things done. Time. I didn't have enough time to do them or wasn't doing them at the right time.
[bctt tweet="The #1 reason we don't get things done is misusing time. Here's how to change that." via="no"]
Have you ever found yourself making a laundry list of things that need to be done for the day and then trying to tackle it with no strategy? Only then to find yourself frustrated at the end of the day because you only got one thing done?! Yeah. Me, too, friend.
The most effective way to organize your things to do list is to prioritize tasks by when they need to be done.
[bctt tweet="Prioritizing tasks by when they need to be done increases their chance of completion. " via="no"]
For me, my assistant aka Krissy (because saying "my assistant" was really starting to get too pretentious for me) creates my TTD lists in Evernote and enters tasks in my Google calendar with alerts as reminders. You can also do this for yourself or use this system if you have a team.
Krissy and I have an ongoing Evernote chat and each night I send her the tasks that need to be on my TTD list the next day. To specify what time of day each task needs to be done, we developed a key system:
AM1 = 7a-9a AM2 = 9a-12p PM1 = 12p-2p PM2 = 2p-5p
That way we eliminate the "what time does this need to be done?" back and forth that takes unnecessary time. Also, there are things that are more important than others that need to be done in the same "shift". To differentiate, I add an asterisk to emphasize the most important task, if there are multiple tasks in a shift. If there is a task that must absolutely get done before everything and anything else, I put two asterisks.
Now, if you're more into handwriting things, I've developed a system for that as well. Even though I have tasks in Evernote and Google calendar, I write things in my planner just to ensure all bases are covered. I write my tasks down the night before (because when I wake up I just want to look at my list and do vs. think) and I use different colored highlighters for the shifts.
AM1 = pink highlighter AM2 = orange highlighter PM1 = green highlighter PM2 = blue highlighter
Then I use Post Its the same color for the corresponding shift with notes for each task. It works out perfectly. Apparently, color coding is the wave when it comes to creating productive things to do lists and making the most out of each day. If not Post Its or highlighters, use as many colored pens as possible.
If I have a long note that is paired with a task, (EX: grocery shopping and I need to refer to my grocery list) I'll write the note out in my "idea notebook" and mark it with the corresponding Post It. And electronically, I'll make it a notebook in Evernote.
I like to use this system Monday thru Friday to get things done. It helps me stay on task and ensure my days are productive. I welcome you to join me on Mission: Productive Not Busy. Where you get sh-t done without the announcement, but all the perks and the work speaks for itself.
"You can do anything, but not everything." [bctt tweet="You can do anything, but not everything."]