If you are like me, ( an overworked small business owner) as the new year begins I am looking for new systems to make your life easier. That is why I loved this post by Gina Trapani writing for the Harvard Business Review discussing how to create to-do lists that work. The title immediately caught my attention, because I have lots of to-do list, in notebooks, on post-it notes, and on line. I have so many to-do lists, I sometimes don’t get things “to-done”
She has a two simple suggestions to stream line the process:
Break it down. Then break it down some more. Don’t confuse to-do’s with goals or projects. A to-do is a single, specific action that will move a project toward completion. It’s just one step.
Use specific action verbs and include as many details as you’ll need. You’re overdue for a cleaning, but the “Make a dentist appointment” to-do just hasn’t gotten done. When you write that task down, use an actionable verb (call? email?) and include whatever details your future self needs to check it off.
So I spent a few hours today, consolidating my to-do lists, adding phone numbers, and action verbs and we will see how it goes. What about you? What is your strategy for getting things off your to-do list?