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Posted: Jul 16, 2012
From Topic: Fix your todo list in 6 steps
By now, most off you use and update their todo lists. Writing things on it when new jobs and tasks present themselves. Checking things off when they finish something.
However, not a lot of people know how to use their lists for maximum efficiency. Some items tend to not get done and remain on the list. This results in a cluttered todo list
The problem with your cluttered list is that the items that remain on the list are mostly items of low priority. After a while they dominate the list so much that you can't tell which item is important and which item isn't important.
The result is a big backlog of unfinished todo items, new ones coming in, and a big chaotic list for you to work on.
Let's Fix Your Todo List
First, collect everything you meant to do the past few months on a big list and get it in front of you. Write down EVERYTHING!
Step 1: See the patterns
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you detect a pattern in your undone items?
SOLUTION: Set up for a structure that motivates you for the unpleasant tasks
- Did you neglected tasks that involved asking for assistence?
SOLUTION: Overcome your ego or shyness and find a way to ask for help when you need it.
- Did you avoid tasks that force you to spend money?
SOLUTION: Find ways to make more money or find out why you hesitate to spend money.
Step 2: Delegation and a wish-list
Shorten the list
- Which tasks can you delegate?
- Which tasks will you probably never do in the near future?
These low-priority tasks are best moved to a wish list. They're nice to have, but not important.
Put the wish list in an easy to find place. As soon as you finish your actual todo list and you find yourself with nothing to do, get out your wishlist and have some fun.
Step 3: Scheduling time
A todo list is actually a list of things that you haven't scheduled yet. Therefore, it's time to put as much items as you can in your schedule.
- When will you do them?
- How long will it take? If you don't know, take a guess. You'll estimation skills will grow better overtime.
Your list should now consist of big or difficult to schedule tasks.
Step 4: Estimate the Time
Also make time-estimates on the left-over tasks. You should now have a total time for your unscheduled tasks. If you can find this much free time in your schedule. You can clear your cluttered list. Huraai!
When you use all the time management techniques you learn from this website you can pull this off
Step 5: Grouping
It's time to group toghether tasks into 5-minute and 1-hour lists. When you've done those, try to fit them into your schedule. It's also a good plan to group items according to where you have to do them.
Step 6: Prioritization
The only thing left now are the longer then 1-hour tasks. It's time to schedule them according to priority and urgency. Give them a maximum of 5 points each. Then add them up and order your list. This is the order in which you should complete your items.
Note: If you give something a 5 for urgency, than it means that is very urgent and should go straight to the top of the list, no matter how important it is.
Ex: If you have to buy Christmas presents for your family and Christmas is still a couple of months away, then it isn't urgent. But if it's the day before Christmas, I would consider it very urgent and you should do it immediatly.
The items on the top of the list shouldn't stay there any longer then 2 weeks.
Every night you put new items onto your list and you repeat the 6 steps for each item.
This is taken from (http://www.fluent-time-management.com)
This message was edited Jul 16, 2012.