Goal Processing: To Do to Tah Dah!

How you choose to spend your time provides the framework for your life. The content of your activity is obviously important. Ie - are you investing the majority of yourself in meaningful work or mindless chatter? However, the structure of this content is vital as well. An organization system well suited for your personality, lifestyle and work/home demands actually creates time. Let's look at a few well-practiced strategies that can turn your To Do lists into Tah Dah lists!

1. Use to do lists. If your work/home life is important and meaningful, it requires an appropriate level of management. If you aren't using to do lists, a calendar system, etc. you are potentially wasting one of your most important resources - your time. And more than likely depleting another highly important resource - the trust and admiration of others.

2. Prepare to do lists and organize tomorrow's business today. You want to hit the ground running when the new day comes. Don't waste this valuable productivity window by organizing your day. Do it the night before.

3. Put only "actionable items" on your lists. Ie - instead of a line item being an entire project or a collection of tasks, write down only the next step needed to move a project forward.

4. Unless you have absolutely must-do items on your list, the first things you should do are tasks that will add wood to your day's fire. These could be unpleasant tasks, a very difficult task, communicating with a negative or disrespectful person, a set of short/simple tasks, etc.

5. Study Stephen Covey's time management quadrants and perform the necessary self-audit of how you spend your time. The big lesson here is to organize your time so you are working mainly on items that are both urgent AND important. Poor time managers spend too much time on items that are only urgent, but not important. They also don't make time for the category that leads to deep, meaningful success - the important and not urgent (ie - thank you notes, working out, professional development, etc.)

I have a program (in both keynote and workshop format) called It's a Breeze. The big ah-ha is that great time managers are like the wind - in control of the ships in their life. Future great time managers are currently like the sails - at the mercy of the forces around them.

Your choice. Choose wisely. It makes all the difference in the world.

- Posted from the road using my iPhone.

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