Saturday, August 23, 2008

The To-Do List - How to Make it Work For You

We all try to do it – we sit down and write out a to-do list but it becomes way too long and involved and the list is no particular order. Frustration sets in when we don’t accomplish everything on the list.

Try and be realistic about your to-do list. I use the “A”, “B” and “C” method to prioritize my to-do list. I place the letter “A” next to the most important things on my list, the letter “B” next to the things that can probably wait until the next day, and the letter “C” next to the items that need to be done eventually but don’t have any real priority.

Another way to make your to-do list work for you is to imagine in your head the route you will travel to complete this list. In this day of crazy gas prices, we need to accomplish as much as possible in one trip. When you drop your kids off at school or on your way to work, try to complete as many to-do items in that general area as possible. Do the same thing on your way home at the end of the day. If you know you’ll be across town tomorrow, plan to do those items on your list that can be accomplished on that side of town.

Finally, try and get out early in the day when banks and stores open to make the most of your time. Most stores have smaller crowds during their early hours and you can accomplish twice as much. The old saying “the early bird gets the worm” really applies here.

I've always been a big fan of creating my to-do list at the end of the work day or before I go to bed. List all those things you want to get done the next day, prioritize them, and then you'll rest much better knowing they are down on paper and you can fill your head with more pleasant thoughts and dreams.

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