Download your printable to do list and take control of your work today. Do you feel overwhelmed by what you have to do? Are you missing deadlines or forgotten to do a task and find people are chasing you to get work done. The benefit of using a printable list is:
Being organized and having all your actions in one place is a great way to reduce stress and ensure you never forget anything again. Here I provide you with a few different types of to-do lists that work across well across different jobs.
A master to do list is essential to capture all of your tasks in one location. Rather than keep your tasks in your head, your email, or scraps of paper.... a master to do list allows you bring all your tasks into once central location.
This is a great tool to identify all of the demands placed upon you which is a starting point to prioritization.
Download your printable master to do list (This is a PDF).
It is best to do things systematically since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy.
- Hesiod, 750 - 650 BCE AD
Greek oral poet
Research highlights that if you were the average worker and I was to freeze you were to take in no more work from today, you would still have 300 hours of unfinished work left to do.
The mind shift in today's world of work is that you are never going to get all of these tasks done this week.
So what is important is that you focus on those things that are most important to you. In other words make sure that you make time for those things that matter to your work and your personal life, rather than trying to find time at the end of the week to get these extremely important things done.
Don't let the vital few be at the mercy of the trivial many.
To do this, search through your master to do list and put your must do activities on your weekly must do list.
Download your printable weekly must do list (This is a PDF).
By breaking these must-do activities down and mapping them to the days you will do them is a significant step towards high performance.
Now that you have a list of must to tasks the next step is to protect these times in your weekly planner.
This article talks more about protecting your big rocks. Your big rocks are those essential items that give you the biggest return on your investment of time.
Weekly planning is a great tool, but for it to work with maximum productivity you may want to consider how best to set up a schedule that takes into account your work environment and your biorhythm.
Download your weekly planner form (this is a PDF).
A printable to do list has stood the test of time because it is a simple and effective time management technique.
In the early 1900's, Ivy Lee, a management consultant, visited Charles Schwab, then president of Bethlehem Steel Company.
Ivy asked, "If I could increase the productivity of your managers by at least 20 percent, what would it be worth to you?"
Schwab said he didn't know but it would be definitely worth alot.
Ivy Lee then taught Schwab a time management skill that took 10 minutes to learn and increased productivity by at least 20 percent.
Lee didn't want to be paid upfront...Schwab could decide for himself and send a check later.
Lee said that you should first make a list of all tasks that you have to do. At the start of the day select your most important items and start working on them.
Once you have finished the most important, move onto the second most important, and so on.
If a new task comes up during the day, keep working on the current task unless the new task is more important. If it is not more important then simply add it to your list of things to do.
Schwab taught this technique to his staff.
After one month Schwab was so impressed that he sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000.
Not bad for one day's work!
Download your printable to do list (this is a PDF).