If You Can’t Do It Today, Don’t Think About It Today

Time Management Tip

By Steve McClatchy, President
Alleer Training & Consulting

If You Can’t Do It Today, Don’t Look At It Today – The basic purpose of a “to-do” list is to help you remember to follow through on something you committed to or would like to remember to get done.  The problem is when you sit down to create a “to-do” list all the “to-do’s” that come to mind, regardless of when they have to be done often appear on one giant list.

These giant “to-do” lists often make us feel overwhelmed, frustrated, trapped and less productive rather than more productive.  The most basic function of a day planner is to act as a 365-day “to-do” list.  Instead of having one giant, hope you lose it and never find it again, list you have 365 little manageable ones that keep you in control and keep you productive.  PDAs, SmartPhones, Outlook®, Lotus Notes®, ACT® and the like also give you this ability but few people take advantage of this simple function.

Think of the power of this one skill.  Now if you think of something you can’t do until next Wednesday you can put it on next Wednesday’s “to-do” list and forget about it.  When someone says to you “let’s keep in touch,” you can now go out 3 months and remind yourself to give them a call or send them an article you just read.  If you glance at your planning device every day that task will come back to you all by itself.  Your mind is now free to think, be creative, focus, concentrate and enjoy other things.

Creating “future to-do lists,” as I like to call them, are the key to long-range goal achievement, effective delegation, project management and one of the most important business skills you can ever develop, contact management.  Master this one time management skill and you will save lots of time as well as significantly improve your ability to be successful.