Tip #1: To do list, Prioritize, and Schedule!
One of the most essential tips for productivity and time management is to do three simple things:
1. To Do List: if you are overwhelmed with tasks, or you have nothing in mind, sit back, think of what you want to accomplish/do today, and write them in a to do list (on paper/excel).
This list should include things that matter to your short term goals, long term goals, your work tasks and deadlines, and other things to do. (will share more about how to define a goal in later tips)
2. Prioritize if you list your tasks but do not prioritize them, you will end up with an endless list that will keep you distracted, demotivated, and you will never finish on time. Always prioritize the list that you wrote into 4 categories:
a. Urgent and Important (the importance depends on your life goals, your own goals! not your daily job as an employee, unless this is your own company)
b. Urgent (this one could be anything that should be done today but will not have a major impact on your life goals. This could be: work tasks, medical appointment, food shopping..)
c. Important (important to your life goals, but could be done tomorrow or after)
d. Not Urgent Not Important (these are the tasks that you will never do unless you do not have any of the three priorities above example: watching a movie..)
After prioritizing all your tasks, arrange each tasks by its priority from a to d, top to bottom.
3. Schedule: here comes the beauty of the previous items for me. Schedule the tasks that you have prioritized. Open an Excel sheet (office already has a template for that, I shared it below), and put your prioritized tasks, and schedule them per time.
You can even add a column to that excel (I already did that, very important!), starting early morning till your time of sleep. And plan your day ahead!
(I even added a column that shows the priority of each task to stay on track. You can also twist the shared sheet and do that.)
When to do the list? You can do that either before you sleep, or once you are up. My opinion: do that before you sleep. You will see that you will wake up motivated to finish your tasks, knowing that they are well-organized, and match your life goals!
Time needed to do the list? at the beginning it might take you some time to get used to it, but believe me: once you get used to it, you will never miss a day without planning. And remember the following:
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1000 percent Return on Energy”
Try it today, and share your thoughts tomorrow!