Last week I was invited to speak to Georgia State legislatures about how to use their time most effectively. Their days are packed — several showed me their planners which they carry with them at all times so they know where they are meeting and with whom. Their planners are filled with activities and appointments from early morning until late in the evening.
We talked about making a powerful to-do list and how that will help them accomplish their projects and goals. And, the best news is that it reduces your stress levels.
Some of the tips I recommended too the Georgia State legislatures are:
- Choose 3-5 important tasks to complete each day.
- Begin every to-do with a verb such as: call, email, send.
- Make every task specific. Instead of: Research tax law, break the project down into small, concrete actions. The first step might be to contact the legislature who helped write the original tax law.
- Add all meetings and appointments including times and locations.
- Allow time before and after appointments and meetings before scheduling the next task.
- Estimate the time you believe it will take for you to accomplish a task and then double it. It often takes a lot longer than you think to get something done.
- Schedule a block of uninterrupted time to work on an important project.
- Schedule like activities together such as: check email from 10:30-11:15am and again at 3-3:30pm. Example: make callsfor a half hour in the morning and return calls at a specific time in the afternoon.
- Incorporate as many routines in your day as possible because they are an efficient way to run your day.
- Consult your planner often throughout the day.
Does your to-do list ramble on and on for pages? If so, try cutting it down so that you can accomplish everything on it. Think how great it will feel when you walk out at the end of the day with it all completed!