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Time Management Series: To-do List; Part 4

By Edited May 20, 2016 0 0

Action plan

Now that we have taking a look at your Daily Record of Activities and categorized each activity in the appropriate quadrant we should put an action plan into effect. You should have an action plan along with the to-do list.  Action plans tell or remind us why we are doing something. Attempting to make changes in our lives without an action plan is like taking a trip without a map.  We may eventually get there (or not) but the trip will take longer. 

Management
The action plan for this chapter is a To-Do List.  The to-do list is your map in becoming more in control of your time management.  This list is a simple concept and easy to understand.  Yet, like goal-setting, most people never do it.  However, you are not like most people.  You want to be successful and want to become healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The To-Do List

I am providing you with a template to use for your to-do list.  You may have to adjust it to your fit your schedule. 

To-Do List for {Insert Date}

 

TIME

ACTIVITY, TASK, OR OBJECTIVE

COMPLETED OR ACCOMPLISHED

IF NOT COMPLETED, WHAT IS THE PLAN TO COMPLETE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first column you will add the time.  You can choose to add the beginning time only or you can do a timeframe.  For example, you can write 6:00 am wake up, hygiene, get dressed. Or you can write 6-6:30 am wake up, hygiene, get dressed.  The semantics of this are not important.  The core content is what important.  In the next section you will briefly describe what activity, task, or objective needs to be accomplished.  You do not have to go into great detail about this.  This list is for you, not for others.  You are the only one who has to understand it.  However, if there is something you need to describe details about, this is the place to put it.  In the next column, you will write whether the objective was completed or not.  You can choose to write why or why not in this column or the next column.  The next column is where you write a plan to accomplish, at a later time, the unfinished or uncompleted activity. 

List
See how flexible you can be with this  list.  Do not be a “to-do list Nazi” with this things.  Have fun with it.  Enjoy the process.  Not everything is going to go the way you want it to go.  More days than not, you will find you have more time to do the things that will make you, healthy, wealthy, and wise. 

As you start doing more of these list you will become better at preparing the list.  However, the challenge will always remain to continue to follow it.  I leave my daily list on my computer, minimized at the bottom of the screen.  I can refer to it as needed and it is there as a constant reminder to get the stuff done on that list.  I have printed off a copy of the list and hung it on the wall right next to my computer in the officer where I will be forced to look at it throughout the day. This is another option.  However, I did not prefer this because there are so many people in and out of my office each day who do not need to know what my schedule is. 

Put the List into action

Someone once told me their lives are so busy they do not have the time to sit down every day and make a project list.  My statement to them was, they were the prime example of someone who needs to have a list like this then.  If their life is so busy they cannot take 3-5 minutes to organize things, then they need some intensive training in time management.  The President of the United States has daily schedule he reviews every day.  He adjusts, amends, or cancels things all the time. 

When is the best time to do the list?  Again this is different for every person.  This list should be made at the time when you can put enough thought into it and be able to foresee what is going to go on for whatever particular amount of time you are making the to-do list for.  Make your list on Monday morning.  Plan out each day based on the information that you have about what may be going on this week.    Then Plan out your nights based on what activities you want or need to do each night. 

Iphone
I have an Iphone, which I carry with me everywhere I go.  When I have to add something in the future to my schedule, I pull out the phone and put the even on the calendar.  When I am making my to-do things on Monday morning, I check this calendar and plan accordingly. You should do this too.  If you do not have an Iphone, a pocket calendar will suffice.

Each morning, have a review and revise session where you take the information you have for that particular day and add it to the list of things I already have on the schedule.  Those activities you already have on the schedule are those planned activities that occur on a routine basis.  For example, I have the staff meetings I attend already on the schedule.  I then put the other activities in around these routines.

At night before you go to bed, think about the things you need to do the next day.  I have a notebook in the top drawer of my nightstand and if there is something that is important I do not think I will be able to remember it.  I will write it down.  For some reason we do some of our best thinking during that time we are preparing to go to sleep or in the shower.  I initially put the notebook next to the bed so when I came up with ideas for my writings. However, I have used if for everything from the to-do list to taking a note to add something to the grocery list.  I also have my goals, simply written on the first page of this notebook as a constant reminder. This will be a handy notebook for you as well 

When you get up in the morning you will get this notebook with the note from last night written down and make sure that your remember to put it on your short list when you get to work that day.  If you have a long commute to work every day,  take the morning commute as a way to organize in your head what it is you need to accomplish that day.  Your  valuable list and your goals should be congruent.  Everything that is on my daily and weekly list should be related to one of my goals.  It is not hard to do that if the item on the itimized list is important to you.  I encouraged you to write goals for every aspect of your life, so the items on the list should fit in there somewhere, again if the items are important.  If the items are not important, they should not be on the list anyway. 

Once you get into the habit of writing this type of  list, you will be able to complete this project faster and faster.  However, with the faster sometimes comes inefficiency.  The list can be a valuable tool to implement in all facets of your life, but if it is an inefficient  list, then you will not be making progress in your goals to become healthy, wealthy, and wise. 

 

 

Conclusion

I hope this series of article has inspired you to take control of your life and to stop just living your time out in this life.  I hope it lets you have time to live.  

Take care of yourself and others.  Make today and everyday a great day.  

 

Check this out:  Previous article in the series

Time Management
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