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The ‘To Don’t’ List That Will Help Your ‘To Do’ List

July 11, 2012

Most of us are probably pretty good at listing our priorities for the day, week or even month.

To do list cartoon

How do you manage your 'To Do' list?

We might use a diary, notebook or MS Outlook’s Task app. Why is it then that all too often we get to the end of the day with so many of our ‘To Dos’ not done?

Interuptions and distractions come in many forms: chatty passers by, text messages, boss’s requests, over-running meetings, clients, traffic delays, conversations with team members, IT failures. Some of these are hard to avoid but the key to not letting them sap your precious time and energy is to see them for what they are and to take evasive action.

Alongside your weekly ‘To Do’ list spend a moment scribbling down some of the things which might threaten to highjack your time. We call this the ‘To Don’t list’ and it might look something like this:

  • Don’t stay in a meeting if you can’t contribute. Read the minutes afterwards to catch up on what was agreed.
  • Don’t put off easy decisions
  • Don’t allow email to dictate how you spend time.
  • If someone asks for a minute of your time don’t stop what you are doing, instead meet them for a coffee later.
  • Don’t depend so much on technology that when the service drops you can’t be productive.

These are just five, please add your own suggestions in the comment box below.

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