Here is how I work: I will make a to-do list at the end of the day for what I want to accomplish the following day. A lot of people talk about making to-do lists, and I know there are a lot of mobile apps out there that can help you make a to-do list. I use a pen and paper. I do feel that as scattered as my brain is, and as many things as I have going on, I have to, HAVE TO, keep a to-do list. At the end of the day I will re-organize that to-do list to ensure that I am effective and efficient. It also helps me sleep at night.
A New Take on Time Management : The New To-Do List
Wikipedia’s definition of time-management discusses the origin and organization of your typical, as-you-know-it, to-do list. “Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list (or task-holding file) to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list.”
That said, I came across an article that talked about a new way to do, To-Do lists. This author, Josh Linkner, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation states that we should make our To-Do lists and break it up into three different categories: More, Less and Stop.
What Do You Need More Of?
Under the More, “what do you need more of in your life”. Where are your efforts that deliver the highest value. These should be the items that you know you should be spending more time on because you are delivering the highest value (ie. Money, or simply you should focus more of your time and energy on this item because you value it). For example, more strategy meetings, more coaching clients or more reading to your kids, more feeding your brain!
What Should You Focus Less On?
The second category, Less. What do you need to spend less time doing? Less time surfing Social Media, less time gossiping, and less time texting your friends. Fortunately, I have no time for any of these but I do see a lot of people pissing away a lot of time. I probably need to do less of the smaller tasks on my personal side and more of picking up the phone and calling prospects.
Minimize Actions That Are Not Productive
Third, what do you need to stop doing? I thought this was really interesting, none of us really have a stop-to-doing list, as everything on our to-do lists is an actionable item, so on the stop is “what is unproductive”. What are you doing that is unproductive? You know what this is, it’s your excuse!
What You Need To Do More Of: Maximize Your Time
At the end of the day when you think “I should have called 12 more clients, stopped by 3 more offices…..”, “I should have scheduled more meetings”, “I should have read to my kids”… okay, great, what did you do that took up all your time that you should have not done? Then write that down.
For the first thirty days – I welcome you to the Hugo and Marie 30-Day Challenge – make three lists. In order to produce the highest value, what do you want and need to do more of? What do you need to do less of (which you know better than anyone else)? What do you need to stop doing? Send us your list and your story and I will give you a free 2 hours of consulting!!!
I would guess that the workflow would be that the “what do I need to do less of” would move to “what do I need to stop doing” and thus free you up more time for your more to-do list.
Call it a hunch lol.