One of the more undervalued tools is the making of a list, when you are busy and face huge challenges.
For starters, making a list follows a tradition of many ages 🙂 (Making a list, checking it twice….). Many modern day managers however feel embarrassed when making a list of things to do. They feel that in this fast moving world they should be on top of what needs to happen and not be depending on a list.
With most people though, the issue with having many challenges is that they all keep circling in you mind if they don’t get resolved. So an item that you know you need to accomplish in a few weeks from now, will continue to circle your brain because you don’t want to forget doing it at some point in the future. Writing things down will solve this and give you some space to focus on the tasks that need action now.
Part of making a list is also the process of sitting down and allowing yourself a bit of time to reflect on all you do and want to do. It may help you realize what you can outsource, delegate or just decide not to do anymore.
Making the list comes with the commitment to review the list regularly and go over all items briefly to update priorities and status.
Many tools are available now to help you with your lists and priority setting. My favorite tool is “remember the Milk” available on the web and your phone. There are others and other tools that can be used for it. Backpack is another favorite and netvibes.
It may look like a very simple tool but remember, many complicated things can be brought down to very simple tasks to become a huge success. We’ll talk some more about cleaning the desk and your inbox later.