When you work on multiple projects at one time, it’s imperative that you remain organized and productive. There is a finite number of hours that can be spent on work tasks each day so managing your activities to best of your ability is a must. As a Professional Organizer in NYC, I often am asked to share time management tips and tricks for the workplace. The best advice that I share with clients is to become skilled at using a to-do list.
Why do I need a to-do list?
The most important reason is that it is impossible to remember everything. To-do lists allow you to stay organized and focused. Having every task you need to complete in one place will allow you to prioritize and plan your day accordingly. Also, a to-do list will save you time as you won’t have to sort through emails and notes to ensure that you are completing all pending tasks. Noting tasks along with their deadlines on your list will prevent the last-minute rush to get things done because a deadline slipped your mind.
How do you use a to-do list?
You need to make it a habit of adding tasks to your to-do list as they come to you. Receive a phone call from a client asking for a task to be done? Add it to your list. Open an email with a new task for an ongoing project? Add it to your list. If you wait too long, you’ll forget and will lose valuable time playing catch up. Also, you want to prioritize your to-do list each day. Spend 5-10 minutes reviewing your list either at the end of the day or first thing in the morning, and then note the 1-2 tasks you’ll need to do first. These will be the tasks with the most immediate deadlines or those that are part of a larger project that need to be done to keep the project work moving forward.
What kind of to-do list should you use?
This is highly personal, and will be dependent on your preferences. You can use pen and paper, keep a written list in a notebook or a paper planner. Many people utilize digital calendars with to-do list add-ons, such as Google Calendar. There are also many digital apps that can help you create a working to-do list and that also provide mobile versions that sync with both your computer and your phone or tablet, so you can take your list everywhere you go. There are many options out there, both free and paid. Some great apps that you can check out are Todoist, Any.do, and Wunderlist.
To-do lists are tools that you can use to save time and stay productive in the office. When you need more help than these time management tips, reach out to your Professional Organizer in NYC.