Tag Archive: to-do

To-Do ListDo you have a to-do list? If so, is it an active, effective one? I’m not talking about a list that has all kinds of things piled on it, some things done, maybe crossed off; others just there. I don’t mean a list that things have been on for so long you might not even remember what some of them are related to or why you added them in the first place. If that’s what your list looks like, it’s time to clean it up and if you don’t have one, it’s time to change that!

Having a to-do list to help manage the many things on your agenda is a key factor in the game.  If you use one effectively on a regular basis, you’re someone who’s committed to productivity.  If you don’t have one, you might be stuck in the overwhelm conversation from the amount of things you have to do and you may be forgetting or not getting to the important things.

If that’s where you are, take a moment to think about what having and effectively using a to-do list will do for you. What would that look like? Let me share some of the advantages with you:

  • All of your tasks are in one place and prioritized
  • Being able to clearly see what needs to be done
  • Prioritizing keeping you on track
  • You are organized, and more efficient
  • Not being stressed by unimportant tasks
  • Your complete, prioritized to-do list drives your time management system

Without a solid to-do list you lack focus and you’re not as efficient or reliable to those around you.  If you have a to-do list, is it doing these things for you?  If not, chances are that it’s not up to date, contains old, unfinished items and you don’t update it on a regular basis as one of your practical systematic pieces.


So, just yesterday you were creating your goals and mapping your way through the new territory of this year and now we’re headed toward the end of the first quarter. Time is moving faster than it ever did, which might make it seem a bit more challenging to keep up with it all.

Looking back at what you created for this year, what do you see so far?  Which goals had you anticipated completing by this point in time?  For others that aren’t due to be completed yet, which milestones should be reached at this point in the year?  Which goals are you due to start working on this month and in the months to follow?

As you continue to look at your goals, ask what’s incomplete and why? Look to see if you’re on track for not only the current things that you’re working on, but the new and upcoming goals that you’re going to begin working on soon.  Are you going to be able to start on time?  If you were graded or received a report card right now, what would your grades look like?  Where is improvement needed?

Create a status update that gives you the following:

Completed goals-Out of those that are due for completion at this point, how many have you accomplished?  Measure where you are with each goal that you set based upon the means that you determined when you set each goal.

Incomplete tasks-How many tasks directly related to your goals are incomplete? The next thing to figure out is why they’re incomplete.  Maybe you’re not allowing enough time for the tasks that need to be completed, or maybe they aren’t making it to your calendar or to-do list. You might need to develop a few new habits or incorporate new tools to shore you up in your day-to-day activities.

Resources-Did you anticipate everything that you needed to support you in accomplishing what you projected?  Were any resources not as helpful as you imagined they would be, and, what resources do you need to get you through the rest of the year?

Grade yourself fairly and then take the necessary steps to get back on track.  If there’s something that you haven’t started working on yet or something that you’re seriously off track with, there’s still time to pull it together.  It doesn’t matter what your status update looks like, what matters is that it’s accurate.  Don’t look at this point as a sign that you aren’t on track, are falling behind or haven’t gotten anything done at all.  Allow it to be a point of recovery, reestablishment and recommitment for you and let that fuel you forward.


Many people experience the feeling of not having enough time to get everything done.  There are step to take toward effectively managing time; finding the appropriate tool, setting up systems and using various techniques to get things done.  One such technique is the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a method for managing time that is said to make time an ally.  It was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s after attempting to improve his study habits while a university student in Rome.  He started to use a kitchen time shaped like a tomato, (Pomodoro in Italian) to help him stay on task. In the late ’90s the technique was used by professional teams.

The purpose of the technique is to rid one of anxiety, enhance concentration and focus, strengthen determination and boost motivation and increase awareness of decisions and support determination to achieve what you set out to do.  It’s founded upon three assumptions:  a different way of looking at time, which dispels anxiety; better use of the mind and employing simple tools to apply the technique.

This method has a good foundation for getting through the things on your to-do list. In upcoming posts, I’ll share more about the Pomodoro technique and how you can use it to help you get from “to-do” to “done” on a regular basis.

Now for the final “D”, Do it now.  When you make the choice to do something, you have to be particular about what you choose, after all, this is your time we’re talking about and once it’s spent, you can’t get it back.

Do It Now-For anything that you don’t discard or delegate falls under the category of “do it now”.  These are the things you want to put onto your to-do list and into your calendar to get done.  Prioritize the things that you have to do and be sure to schedule enough time for each of the things you take on and don’t over book yourself.

The keys to getting things done lie in the systems you create and the habits you have.  The three Ds have to be part of that to keep you organized, effectively managing your time, and keeping things from piling up and cluttering your workspace.  If you don’t already have systems in place to support what you do, it’s important to set them up now.  Doing so and then incorporating the 3 Ds will help you get from to-do to done!

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