Use the 80-20 Rule

Having a properly prepared to-do list to work from may be the best tool in your time management tool box. Use your to do list effectively and achieve more. With disciplined use, it can help you stay on track and minimize distractions.

The key to developing that list is to make sure that those items you highlight as priorities truly are the priorities. It is a sad fact that many people give a high percentage of low priority items a high priority status.

There are probably two or three big items at most that will make the biggest difference. Concentrate on them first. Review your list throughout the day and re-prioritize as needed.

“The short and long of it is that if we don’t dream, we have nothing to strive for. When we stop dreaming and reaching, our God-given talents don’t lie in some bank gaining interest so we can use them when we need them. On the contrary, when we stop pursuing dreams and “impossibilities”, our souls dry up.”

Bill and Kathy Peel, Discover Your Destiny

Five Days of Action

Determine to have a plan and work from a list. If you are lousy at making a list that can clearly differentiate between a true priority and a lesser task, access a reliable time management resource – read a good book about it or work with a coach. The to-do list is your most important tool of the day, and has to be well thought out or you will be busy but ineffective.

Review your default method of approaching your daily to-do list (written or in your head). Do you start with the easiest item first or the hardest? Is most of your day spent putting out to-do list fires or advancing significant priorities? What fundamental changes need to be made to be more effective in accomplishing the few vital things that will reach the most significant outcomes?

Do you have a strategic plan? What are you working to achieve? What matters? What are today’s priorities? Put these guiding lights clearly in place and you will have something to regularly check your to-do list against. Today, get clear on your life, work or organizational plan and how your daily to-do list either moves it forward or holds it back.

Use the simplest method of recording and communicating information that works for you and aligns with the needs of those around you who also need to know.

Review today’s to-do list. Does it reflect priorities? Is it a stress maker or a stress buster? Celebrate your great to-do list. Adjust your attitudes and methods where needed.