August 18, 2010

Managing 'To Do' Lists - An Alternative System for Getting Things Done

Are you an avid list maker, but still nothing ever seems to get done? In need of a new system for managing your To Dos? Sometimes creating lists on paper just isn't enough, especially if you're a visual and kinesthetic learner and struggling with managing your time. Check out this Panel System I recently created for a client. It's simple to use and easy to set up.

Directions

  • Divide the inside of a manila folder into two columns "Now" and "Very Soon".
  • Transfer all of the items on your To Do list(s) onto sticky notes (one per note).
  • Place the sticky in the "Now" column if it needs to be done right away or place it in the "Very Soon" column if it can wait a couple days. Optional: A third column can be added for things that need to get done "Later".
  • As you complete a task in the "Now" column, take the sticky off. Then move an item from the "Very Soon" column to the "Now" column.
  • Display the Panel System on the wall or tack it to a bulletin board.

What's really great about this system is that it's visual and tactile, tasks can be placed in order of importance (for easy prioritizing), items can easily be moved from one column to the next, and the number of items is limited by the size of the panel (making tasks more achievable and less overwhelming).
Also, this is great for those who can't seem to get away from using sticky notes (like myself!)

Before adding new items always ask yourself
  • Is there enough time to do this, or is it already too late?
  • Do I really want/need to do this?
  • What would happen if I didn't do it?
To keep on top of your To Dos, only add a new task if it's something that's really important to you and, therefore,
worth doing.

How do you manage your To Dos? (I would love to know!)

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