As well as being a yogi, I am super into organisation, efficiency + getting things done. This week I thought I’d share with you one of the simple things I do to ensure I get the important things done every day.
I’ve been there myself – the inbox/paperwork tray is creaking. You have several to-do lists + you don’t know where to start. You know there is important stuff on there, somewhere, but you don’t know what or how. It feels like you have to get everything done to get organised + it just feels impossible.
These are my basic rules for getting important things done every day.
Have one to-do list
It’s fine to have one for work + one for home – but organise yourself list with as few lists as possible. If you have multiple lists, they start to lose their value + you forget to look at them.
I use the Getting Things Done system with Outlook Tasks as my to-do list at work + an app called 2Do on my iPhone for my personal to-do list. You can have sub-lists, but make sure you’re logging things in one place that can handle flexibility.
Process your “in-tray” at specific times only
You don’t have an in-tray? 🙂 That’s your first problem! For any paperwork make sure you have a proper in-tray you can drop items in as they come if you aren’t processing right then.
Your e-mail accounts obviously serve as your electronic in-tray. Again, try to minimise the number of accounts you have. I have 2 work accounts & one personal account. That’s it.
Process your in’s at specific times. For example at work I process my emails/in-tray around 4 or 5 times per day at specific points. The rest of the time I’m working on my projects or preparing for meetings. I process my paperwork tray at home once a week. I process my personal emails a couple of times a day.
When I say process I mean decide straight away whether you’re going to DO, DELEGATE or DEFER. Only do things that will take less than 2 minutes. DELEGATE or DEFER anything that will take longer.
To DEFER, ensure you write an action on your to-do list system somewhere to do the next thing you need to do to handle that item. Don’t get bogged down in DO if it’s going to take more than 2 minutes. That’s not the point of your in-tray processing time. Resist the urge + you’ll be far more productive.
Figure out your most important things (MITs)
This is super important. Don’t go home + do it the next day, do it before you leave work for the evening. Write down the most important things you need to do the following day. Ideally it’s no more than 3.
Write down very clear actionable steps you have to take the next morning. Make sure this is the first thing you look at when you arrive at work.
Try to make sure your MITs are the first thing you do at work. If you want to process your in-trays once before you start to check for emergencies that’s fine, but then get straight to your MITs!
You’re done! :]
3 very simple steps to get important things done every day.
If you have one to-do list, you don’t get confused.
If you process your in-trays at specific times then you don’t get stressed about what’s in them.
If you write down + action first thing your MITs, you actually get important things done every day.
Try these out! Let me know how they work for you.
I’ve put together a downloadable poster for you as a reminder of these tips if you want to print it off + stick it somewhere close to your work space. Enjoy!
Love + Light,