Tag Archive: task

To-Do ListThere is always plenty to do. Many people keep those things in their head instead of actually making a list. That’s where they make the first mistake. The place that things on your daily agenda reside shouldn’t be your head. You’ve got to get it in writing, so make your list. Only the things that are deserving of your time should end up on your to-do list. The same things goes for your calendar. Getting through your to-do list can be challenging, but if life is going to work you’ve got to get through it. There are a few key points that will help you establish a new foundation and get through your list daily with ease.

I believe that productivity is all about perspective. What I see is that people automatically hand over their personal power because of how they learned about time. They pick up the linear view where time is limited to a set number of hours and there’s never enough of it to go around. Seeing things through the Time Wielder’s™ lens, time is conceptual with no past, present or future. There is only “now”. Time never runs out because it doesn’t exist. People struggle because they’re trying to manage something that doesn’t even exist. When you approach things from this angle, everything shifts.

Productivity is not a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s individual. It’s time to ditch that mentality and the behavior that goes along with it. You have to look at your personality, or what I call your Productivity Persona™. Who you are, how you operate and relate to time has everything to do with how you get things done. Incorporating that when you start looking at how to achieve a higher level of productivity, can make the difference between whether or not you’re effective.

Ideally, you want to be at a point where you are scheduling your priorities, instead of prioritizing your schedule. What I mean by that is if you know your priorities ahead of time, when tasks hit your calendar or to-do list they already have an assigned priority.  If you get your priorities straight and assign them to your projects and goals, every task related to each of your projects and goals will have the same priority level. If they’re already set, you don’t have to play with your list and decide the priority level of everything on your agenda.

Making the shift in your perspective, taking the personal approach to productivity and knowing and working according to your priorities will make you more effective, keep undeserving and irrelevant things off of your to-do list so that you can work your way through your list, completing the tasks at hand and end up with a life that works.


During one of my internet searches I discovered Organisemee, a cloud based task management application.  Organisemee hit the scene in 2010 with the purpose of helping people manage tasks and to support on the “how to” get them done efficiently.

You enter tasks and any additional information you’d like into Organisemee and can structure your them by lists or projects. Tasks can be filtered by priority or by due date, so only tasks due before a certain date are shown, which allows you to focus on the task which needs to be executed next instead of looking at everything there is to do.  You can also define individual rankings of your tasks for every list or project and the application also lets you delegate tasks to others.

You can collaborate by finding your colleagues or VA in Organisemee and become contacts, then have the ability to delegate tasks to your contacts – and vice versa.  Tasks that are accepted become part of your lists, just like your own tasks.  You can also exchange messages assigned to a specific task, to align yourself with your contact.

Reminders definitely help keep things moving and Organisemee gives you the capability to set multiple reminders before and on the due date. You can receive reminders via eMail or as SMS on your mobile phone up to three times a day.

Since it’s internet based, you can access the application from anywhere with your PC, laptop or netbook.  There’s also a mobile version of the site so that you can manage things from the palm of your hand.  Currently the company is working on mobile phone apps for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone.  For more info on Organisemee, visit the website at www.organisemee.com or access the mobile site at m.organisemee.com


After you create and prioritize your to-do list, it’s time to utilize it.
since your list only has the important things on it, and it’s prioritized, you can easily move through your list based upon the priority of each item on it.

Start with your top priority items (A) and work your way through the tasks on your list in order of priority.  Two key things to remember are to place something into your calendar if it takes longer than 15 minutes to complete, and don’t have more than 2 top priorities each day.  Cross off items as you complete them.

If something happens during the course of a day and some things don’t get done, move them to an appropriate day for completion.  It’s important to spend time each day planning your to-do items for the next day.  Just a quick 5-10 minutes at the end of each day will set you up for the following day so that you’re ready to roll.

Whether you’re using paper lists or electronic, the habits are the same.  If your time management personality is a fit for electronic tools, you can use a to-do list associated with the electronic time management tool you use or there are online tools that will support you as well.  Three of the most popular right now are:

  • Wunderlist-available on almost every platform—windows, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac
  • Tooledo-pretty much does what a SmartPhone would already do, but it’s good for sharing information if the usual computer sync isn’t right for your situation.  It can be used with BlackBerry, Mac OS, or Android
  • 2Do-runs on both iPhone and iPad

If you’re looking for an electronic to-do list, try one of these or the host of others that are available online.

For some people “plan” is a 4-letter word.  I’ve heard some say that planning takes too much time, or even that it’s a waste of time.  Granted it does, but it’s actually an investment of time, rather than a waste of your time.

The majority of people don’t plan for the things they want to accomplish.  Some will keep ideas or an unwritten plan in the most dangerous place in the world—their heads.  NOT a good place for things to be.  There is a difference between how things play out when it’s in your head and when it’s written out in detail.  Writing it down makes it real; it comes to life and take on form.

So, what do you think of when you hear the word “plan”?  Does it make you cringe?  It’s not as bad as it may sound.  My description of a plan is “A process that includes setting goals then developing the strategies, tasks, schedules and systems to accomplish objectives of related goals.”  Planning will actually save you time, guide your actions and help you accomplish what you set out to do.  It will also help you avoid pitfalls.  There is power in the process.

If you do work from a plan, do you just work from an outline or from a detailed plan?  Your plan is your road map, so you need the details.  To create it think about what the goal or end result is; the objectives; who’s involved; other resources needed; your timeline and any constraints.  Create tasks for each objective and break them down into smaller pieces, assign a start and completion time to each.  Think about how you’re going to measure your progress and know how things are getting done if there are other people involved in the process. Plan your work and then work your plan!

Once you have your list, you can begin to set deadlines for yourself. With your calendar for next year in front of you, set a deadline for each item on your list and place it in your calendar.  Next, break each item into smaller pieces or tasks and place those in your calendar.  Consider each item like a meal before you.  Each smaller task is a bite of the meal.  Remember this analogy as while breaking things down into tasks that are realistic.

Continue the process until everything is in your calendar.  If you have a system for managing your time, then you already plan on a weekly and daily basis.  If not, now is a good time to start.  Each week that you plan, look at each task you created and assign a block of time to work on it. At the start of each day, look to see what’s on the agenda.

Now, realistically you won’t be able to do all of your planning in one session, because, after all, it is a lot.  To avoid overwhelm, schedule a few planning sessions so that you can get the job done.  If you have an assistant or another employee who is key in accomplishing your objectives, include them in the process.  It may take you what seems to be quite a bit of time, but it’s an investment of your time and time well spent.  Think about the time that you stand to waste if you don’t plan for the things that you want to accomplish.  Remember, every minute of planning saves you four minutes.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

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