Tame Your To Do List

By: Joy Block
Who doesn't have too much to do these days?  None of us, I  suspect.

But, when  you really look into why everyone feels they have too much to do, it isn't  just that they  have too many things to do, its that they feel overwhelmed by it all.

They aren't sure if they're remembering the urgent and important things to do, and they feel their pile of things to do is in control of them, instead of the other way around.

Taking Control of Your Things To DoIt's not that hard to turn the situation around and seize control of your to do list and make it subservient to you.

You just have to keep a well-organized system of lists, write everything down on them, review them periodically, prioritize them realistically, and then reward yourself by checking items off when they're done.

What do I mean by a well-organized system of lists?  Simply just separate lists for each logical area in your life.

For me it's work, home maintenance, health & exercise, travel planning.

You get the idea - you will have your own categories.

Keep a separate list for each category.

It's essential that you write everything down on your lists.

By doing this you get these lurking items out of your head and onto the list - where it belongs.

Don't worry if you're making your list long.

The purpose of the list isn't to say you'll definitely get the item done - the purpose is to capture the items as a potential to do - the editing of the list will come alter.

Review your lists regularly - some people do it first thing every morning, others every weekend, so they can plan the following week.

Realistic prioritizing of your list is essential.

This is the 'editing phase'.

Instead of trying to decide whether to put something on the list, as I mentioned earlier, you should just add everything to the list.

Then, periodically come back and pass through the list, reviewing it for prioritization.

You can move items up higher and down lower in priority.

It's natural for priorities to ebb and flow.

What Technology to UseForemost in your mind might be which high-tech gadget or software you should use  for your lists.

First of all, I want to stress that a paper-based system has a lot to go for it - it's easy, it's portable and it doesn't crash!  However, you will find yourself having to rewrite your lists.

High tech solutions fall into three major categories:

hand held organizers, software you can run on your pc, and web-based software.

Hand-held organizers can be carried with you, but sometimes their screens and keyboards can be hard to use and the software isn't always the easiest.

PC-based software offers a lot of power but is only available when you are at your PC or laptop.

Web-based software is the future of all software, because when software is available on the web, you can access it from any Internet-connected PC or laptop in the world - namely from your work PC, your home PC, etc. Also, web-based software is easy - you don't have install or upgrade the software.

Some web solutions also allow you to share your to do lists across the web with others on a password-protected basis.

Here are three third party sites with information on web-based to do list software:

1.  

2.  

3.

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