To Do List


Especially these days before Christmas, quite a few people seem to be running out of time and get into a stressful situation:

So much to do, and not enough time…. How will I manage?

It’s really quite easy: You need to set priorities and to assign a ‘time-value’ to all the things you want to achieve. I’ve just written a short article about Better Time Management, you find the how to guide there.

Follow these simples steps and you’ll live a much happier, stress free life!

This audio book has acutally helped me to get organized myself:

A Guide To Time Management – MP3 Audio Book – You can listen to this audio online, just click the link!

Advertisements

You need a strategy to accomplish your goals.

There is a step by step approach that will bring you to the achievements that you are haeding for:

1. Make a contract with yourself.

It’s OK to think: I’ll do this and that. It’s much better to write your goal on paper and define it clearly. Date this paper and sign it. Then place it where you can see it several times every day. … and keep your contract!
2. Identify specific rewards for positive action.

In this contract you can also enter the rewards you’ll give yourself for achieving certain landmarks on the way towards that goal. Treat yourself to things you really like when you manage to accomplish a specific step!
3. Establish certain penalties for procrastination.

This might work for some, for others it’s not practical. If you are sure that you will also use this intrument when you don’t go ahead and miss a landmark, then enter that into your contract as well. If you know that you will anyhow ignore the penalties, then just leave this part out. No use of stipulating something just for the paper…
4. Break your goals down into small steps.

OK, these small steps really are the key to your success! A large chunk might be just too much to get started at all. So break your plan into smaller mini-goals (the landmarks I refer to above) and make the steps manageable. Then it’s a lot easier to tackel one first step.
5. Schedule a time segment for each activity.

Try to estimate how long it will take to achieve each of these smaller steps and wrtie down, by when you want to reach the intermediate goals.
6. ACTION!

So, now you have a great plan and it looks all nicely organized. This is going to be useful only if you now take action. Do what you planned and enjoy the feeling of having reached each intermediate goal! You’ll see that by following this simple step by step system, you’ll actually enjoy doing what’s needed and the triumph of actually reaching a goal in the predetermined timespan is a feeling that you’ll start to love!

Have fun reaching your goals!

This positive energy and how to cultivate the right attitude is describen in ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. It’s a great audio book that you can listen to on the go. This book will change the way you look at your life and how you’ll be setting goals and achieving the results you want!

Listen to a sample of ‘The Secret’ audio book here

Has that happend to you already: You try to complete the most urgent and important activities, but somehow keep on pushing them back, until you have to rush and nearly don’t manage to do them anymore. You are often completing these tasks at the last moment.

Some people actually need this pressure to do things, or at least they think they need need it, because it’s a great excuse to let things drag until the last moment….

If you have read ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne or intend to read or listen to it, then you know that this is not the best way to manage your life and reaching your goals.

There is a much better way to handle urgent tasks, and even if you think you need this pressure, try it the other way at least once, you’ll see how much easier the task gets if you’re not letting time pass by and then have to rush:

Schedule a block of prime time to work on an important activity that is due in the future. Begin at least two weeks before the time you think you’d need to complete the task. By leaving some spare time, you’ll be able to polish and review the task at least once before it’s due.

Just remember: the 80 / 20 rule applies! By having now enough time to review what you’ve done, you can possibly improve on it. But once you’ve reached the 80%, the effort you’ll put into it will not yield the same productivity anymore. so don’t overdo it!

Having a project ready on Wednesday when it’s due for the next Monday is great and will make you feel a lot better too!

Here’s a great book that will help you getting thinds done with ease:

Step by step, Neil Fiore, Ph.D. reveals in his audiobook ‘The Now Habit’ numerous tested strategies for ridding your life of procrastination:

  • Use the symptoms of procrastination to trigger the cure
  • Overcome the perfectionism and fear of failure that lie behind procrastination
  • Benefit from making positive statements about work instead of sabotaging yourself with negative statements
  • Make your worry work for you
  • Use the Unschedule time-management techniques
  • Accomplish more in less time through efficient “flow state” work styles
  • Assist the procrastinators in your life in overcoming their problems

So much to do! Not enough time! How will you manage to get this all done??? … You are overwhelmed. All good intentions to finish all these tasks will never be enough to really manage……

This ugly problem of too many things that are waiting to be done pesters way too many people. And it is so easy to overcome!

  • Learn to say, “No!”

Say “no” to activities and people that do not contribute to reaching your goals. And with goals I don’t just mean work goals, I mean whole life goals. That includes pleasure and quality time with friends and family!

People will take advantage of your kindness and generosity, once you seem to say “yes” all the time. You end up being a stop gap for all the others, who manage to free their time by letting you do things with or even for them.

If you want to learn more about saying “No” and time mangement, then this audio will help you learn the right techniques: Andy Guides has written ‘A Guide To Time Management’ . He says:

Managing stress and time is a rewarding accomplishment that all must maintain in order to reach success. Each day we wake up, we stress to meet deadlines, demands, and finding time to spend with our family, selves and friends.

While these are challenges we all must face, there are tools and techniques that can help you to meet them in a better, balanced way without feeling as though you are at the end of your cord. I know this to be true because I discovered them and implemented them in my own life with amazing results and now I want to share them with you!

This is the most complete report on time management you will ever read! Not only does it include timely tips and hints on tools to manage your time but how to create a backup time management plan as well!

You can download this audiobook ‘A Guide To Time Management’.

Using an organizer or daytime planner can be a great tool to coordinate your activities. It’s actually the secret of many successful people. It also helpy ou to focus and get a clear mental attitude about the things that need to be done.

Here’s how you use a planner effectively:

  • First you need to add the relevant tasks into your planner for the date they need to be done. Take the items from your master “To Do” List.
  • Once an item is completet, mark it as completed by checking it off.
  • If you are left with tasks not finished by the end of the day, report them over to the next day.
  • If after the next day an intem is still not completed, something is wrong. Either you are procrastinating or it’s not really something that needs to be done? Ask yourself, “What if I never do this?”
  • If you can honestly say, that nothing bad will happen if you don’t complete this item, then you should delete it immediately and forget about it.

You see, writing these tasks down and keeping a planner is quite effective. Nobody can keep all things pending in their head only, and by being able to go back a few days to see if you are completing things and what has been deleted, you will better be able to structure your “To Do” List in such a way that after a while you’ll only have the urgent and important, or the important tasks written down.

Some people do not have a plan for the day or week, nor do they assign priorities. The result is shambles, things not done or not done in time, unhappy partners, family members  or clients etc. To have good intentions to do everything will end in disaster. Intentions are good, setting priorities is a lot better!

I’ve recently posted about goal setting and perfection. Both these disciplines come into play when setting the right priorities:

It’s not clever to plan the entire day or week and have every hour filled. If you do this you’ll start to overload and get into a pressure situation. Therefore when you do your “To Do” List, keep as much time as possible open, at least one third of a day should not be filled. Keep unassigned time for family, friends and yourself!

Take your Goals List and break it down into activities, add the dayly recurring activities and then look at the list again:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this task need to be done immediately, is it urgent?
  • Is this task important?
  • Is this urgent AND important?
  • Is this task NOT important and NOT urgent?

Now order the tasks accordingly:

  • URGENT AND IMPORTANT: Do these tasks first.
  • IMPORTANT: Do these tasks next.

Eliminate the ‘not important’ tasks. They are time wasters and don’t bring you one step towards your goals. The 80 / 20 rules applies here too: Only 20% of all tasks are urgent and important. The other 80% don’t help you reach your goals!

It will take a bit of getting used to not doing everything you have on your initial list. But you’ll get better at this as you learn to select and judge what is really important to you. I can’t and don’t want to give examples here, because every person has his/her own priorities and goals. You’ll make mistakes at occasion, but that’s fine! We all make mistakes. So don’t let these mistakes stop you from making your “To Do” Lis.

Here’s an audiobook that might help you setting your own priorites better:

All of us are looking for practical ways to take control of our lives, whether in our personal relationships, our families, our work, our health, or our future plans. Daily challenges have a way of overwhelming us, making life harder than it needs to be. The good news is that the answers are out there. And they are Easier Than You Think: In the audiobook ‘Easier Than You Think’ Richard Carlson, Ph.D. tells you how to juggle the tasks without dropping the important ones.