"The humble to-do list often gets overlooked," says Sophie Gill, member of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers and founder of professional organising service Little Miss Sorted. "Or it becomes a guilt-ridden 'What I still haven't done' list." Sophie suggests the following:
- Break things down into manageable chunks. Don't just write "Organise monthly meeting". Be more specific with "Book meeting room", "Confirm catering", etc.
- Don't expect to cross everything off in one day. Focus on a realistic number of items.
- If it takes as long to write something down as it does to do it, just do it.
Time-saving technology is a godsend, but a text message here, an e-mail there and a bit of Internet in between can soon swallow half a morning. The answer is to allocate a time for everything.
Take time to sort out your work space, your diary and your personal work rhythms.
Procrastination is a huge time waster. Instead of sitting around talking about something, do something.
If you know you work better at certain times of the day — for most people that's between the hours of 8am and 12pm — don't leave the most important things on your to-do list until last. Tackle them first thing and you'll achieve more than ever before.