On this week’s Monday Moment we spoke about having too much to do and how that will impact how you lead others. Well, what if you had some tips for making your list from the beginning that would actually enhance your productivity? Voila peanut butter sandwiches… here are those tips!
Divide your list into four quadrants on a piece of paper, or in your iPad or wherever you put it. Title the four quadrants as Customers, Prospects, strangers, and Admin, if you wish to stay focused on the revenue generating activities of your business or department. If that’s not your need, divide and label these quadrants as “To Do”, “To Write”, “To See”, or “To Call”. Any four segregating labels will work. The outcome is shortening each list and feeling more of a sense of accomplishment if you at least get one quadrant done. Sense of Accomplishment = More Energy to keep going!
Make a new list of your daily tasks on a clean sheet of paper every day. Starting fresh daily will keep your list and more importantly, your mind clear of clutter and free you up to focus on what is today’s priority.
Keep more than one list of items that are not just to be done today. For example, keep a list of long term projects. Keep a list of messes and incompletes. Keep a list of “wish list” items that you want to do when the merger is over or the busy season dies down or when you fill that vacancy, but are not high priority or urgent items.
Put all of your lists in one place. It defeats the purpose of organizing your thoughts and clearing your mind if you are consistently searching for “where did I write that down?” Forego using post its, scratch papers and cocktail napkins (unless it’s an emergency! Ha!) for your regular list making and keep them all on one pad of paper or in one book or one computer application. Less list searching=Less stress!
Record those items you’ve delegated and automate follow up. When you are barreling through your list and assigning tasks, it’s easy to forget who you gave what to and when and when you asked them to complete it. Record that item that you delegated to Suzy and put an automated reminder somewhere that pops up and tells you when to follow up. You won’t have to think about it and you won’t wake up at 3am in the morning worrying about whether or not she’s on track.
For many leaders, their list is their lifeline and most don’t “leave home without it”, but using these tips will make it not only handy, but more effective. What other tips have you found effective in your leadership of your lists, tasks, and accomplishments? We want to hear from you so tweet me @monicawofford or send me a message on LinkedIn and let’s keep up the connection! Also, if you know someone to whom this particular Monday Moment would be most helpful, forward it to them or suggest they sign up at www.MondayMoment.com.