A To-Do list is a basic to good time management. People who are most effective in their use of time use a To-Do list. People who don't aren't as effective as they could be.
The most important key to getting more done is making and using a written plan. To use it successfully, make this list every day, keep it visible, and use it as your guide for action as you go through the day.
What is a To-Do list? It doesn't have to be complicated. Simply take a piece of paper, write "To-Do" on the top, and list the items you want to accomplish. Cross off each item as you finish it and add others as you think of them. Make your list every night before you go to bed if you're a night owl or first thing in the morning before you start any projects if you're a morning dove.
A To-Do list is so basic but it's surprising how many people don't use one. One reason may be because they keep losing their list. A sure way to fail at using a To-Do list is to jot notes on any scrap of paper lying around. These easily get lost! Write down your items on a master list or lists that will be kept together. Keep your lists in an easily accessible place: Your appointment book, a pad of paper on your desk dedicated to this purpose, a small notebook that fits in your purse, or note paper attached to your refrigerator.
Another frustration to some people is that they keep copying over the same items when everything doesn't get finished in a day. One solution is to keep two lists: Projects that will be accomplished over a longer period of time, and things that must be done today. Include one or two items from your long range list on your daily list. Next week I'll share a clever idea one woman uses to solve that problem. In the meantime, make a commitment to start organizing your time by developing a To-Do system that works for you!
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.