Are you one of those organized people who maintain a meticulous to-do list? Perhaps you have a daily list or a weekly one. Do you actually accomplish everything on that list according to the timetable you have set for yourself?
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, a survey LinkedIn conducted by polling 6,580 professionals polled around the globe who maintain a to-do list, only 11% actually managed to accomplish all the tasks they planned to do in a given day.
Does this mean maintaining a to-do list is not an ideal tool for organizing your work day? Not at all. A to-do list is only a guide to help you work your way through the multitude of tasks on your plate. We are all victims of unfinished to-do lists. Reasons are aplenty – numerous interruptions, 15 min phone calls that turn into hour long mind-numbing conversations, meetings that overrun and leave you with a sense of accomplishing nothing, e-mails that you cannot relegate to later – the list is endless.
Following are three tips that have helped me get through my to-do’s faster.
1. Try to get three things from your list done prior to lunch. For most us of the earlier part of the day is the time we are most efficient and productive, unless you are a night owl. Pick and choose the tasks you want to complete prior to noon and stick to these firmly. This way you are not setting yourself up for failure and it leaves you enough time to maneuver those pesky interruptions and emails.
2. Group similar tasks together to help tackle them at the same time. The mind likes repetitiveness. Grouping projects similar in nature helps you maintain the momentum so that you can get these done sooner.
3. Break down big projects into manageable portions. This helps control the progress of the project as well as enabling you to delegate as needed. Start with the longer pieces first and shorter pieces for later in the day – again this depends on how productive you are at what time of the day. Make it work for you.
Here are some links containing more ideas to help you tackle those to-do lists efficiently.
I hope these tips will get you going on accomplishing the tasks you set for yourself to complete everyday. We would love to hear about the various ways in which you successfully tackle your daily/weekly to-dos.Tagged Morningstar Communications, organization, Suchitra Kamath