I have been working with a client for the past year and one of our priorities has been to find workable organizing solutions for managing her to-do list. We have spent numerous sessions in her NYC home office discussing organizing and time management skills.
As a result, I created customized organizing solutions for organizing her NYC home office which has allowed her to make tremendous progress in managing her daily tasks. Her ongoing list of tasks is lengthy as she oversees her entrepreneurial interests, is taking classes towards an advanced degree and manages a household for her family of six.
When we first started working on organizing her home office in NYC which included getting her to-do list under control, she would note the various calls, tasks and errands that needed to be done on the pages of her calendar. As a result of the volume of information, there was little room to note meetings and as each day’s column filled up the additional tasks would be noted in any available space on the page. The end result was a page with writing all over the place. In addition, my client would jot tasks on any available scrap of paper, notebook or napkin if the calendar wasn’t handy when a thought came to mind. All of this made it extremely difficult to figure out where to start and what to do.
Over numerous sessions we strategized until we came up with an organizing solution that my client would be able to manage and maintain. As with many organizing solutions in NYC home offices, this one needed to be put to the test of daily life and finessed accordingly. We found that the best approach was a paper one. Instead of noting all of the various tasks that needed to be done on her calendar, my client started recording them on paper that we stapled onto the inside front cover of her calendar. We devised a system for categorizing the tasks by type and she would record one task per line, write only in the designated columns and number each task. With this list in hand, she can review her daily schedule to assess the amount of available time and then select and prioritize those tasks that need to be addressed.
This system has required my client to learn new habits. While she still jots some notes and tasks on random scraps of paper, the good news is that the majority of the tasks are getting put on the to-do list. As soon as a small pile of paper with tasks on them starts to collect, she immediately sets aside time to consolidate the information onto her to-do list. Most importantly, she spends time each day updating the list and identifying her daily priorities.
Now that I have begun to internalize Stephanie’s methods, papers are filed and my calendar and to do list are in plain sight on my desk. This is now becoming second nature to me and I owe this learned behavior to Stephanie. Her strength is her calm. Nothing ruffles her. She listens carefully, reminds me that “Life Happens” which allows me to exhale, get my systems back on track and move forward. -Entrepreneur/Writer