Over the years I have used various techniques to get organized. Some of them worked temporarily, but few had the staying power to be incorporated into my professional or personal lifestyle. One thing that I have learned, from lots of trial and error, is the importance of making a list. Yes, a list. Something that sounds so simple can be a powerful tool in productivity.
Lists can help you focus. When you add items to a list, you make it easier to clear your head. Details can be forgotten but when they’re on paper, or in an electronic organizer, you have a reminder. Lists can also help you see what’s important. Sometimes you need to step back and see the big picture. Recording items helps you see the scope of your priorities.
Here are some examples of lists that could be of benefit to you:
* Checklist – A reminder list of items required, things to be done, or points to be considered.
* To-Do List – An efficient way to summarize a day or week’s tasks.
* Priorities List – A list that helps you choose between more and less important activities in order to achieve your personal/professional goals.
* Goals List – Sketches out where you want to go. It helps you define steps in your journey!
* Pros & Cons List – Helps you make a decision by clarifying the positive & the negative aspects of a question.
* Gratitude List – A record acknowledging the things or people for which you are thankful.
* Bucket List – A wish list of experiences that you hope to accomplish during your lifetime.
Get in the habit of making, or revising, lists. They can serve as powerful coaches to help you become more directed and self-reliant. Some lists need to be done regularly, perhaps daily (Checklists, To-Do lists). Other lists are done ‘as needed’ (Pros & Cons lists, Priorities lists, Gratitude lists). Long Term goals can be reviewed & updated once or twice a year (Goals lists, Bucket lists).
A list should provide a road map of what you want to accomplish. Making the tasks specific and attainable is key. Break the major items into smaller steps when possible to make them easier to take in stages. Don’t put too many items on your list. Be mindful of your time, and resources. Writing things down solidifies a goal and helps make it attainable. For me, it helps me be accountable.
Take charge of your goals and dreams. Write them down and track your progress!