I'm going to assume that you've read the last two weeks of my blog and are now using a To-Do list faithfully. So, what's the best way to use your list?
First, look at what's on your list. Are there any items that you can assign to someone else? At home, you might give the project to a child, a spouse, a babysitter. Write it on their To-Do list and cross it off yours. At work you might delegate a project to a co-worker or even a higher associate who might have an idea for a faster, easier, or more efficient way to get the job done.
Now look at what's left on your list. What needs to be done first? Take a moment to rate each item on your list. Put an A by all projects that are urgent: note a B by projects that are less urgent; and write a C by those things that are low in priority. You'll want to start working on the A projects first. Organize them by similar tasks. Do all the things that take place in the kitchen together, or all the errands, or group all your letter writing, phone calling, and desk work. Group all things that need to be done when the baby is napping. You might use the 1, 2, 3, etc. as subheading to help you organize all the A's and B's. One person I know uses different color highlighters to color code and organize her To Do list. You might use three different pieces of paper for you're A, B, and C lists. It doesn't matter what system you use but just find one that works best for you.
Keep in mind that some days you will not complete everything on the list. If you end up with too many leftover A's, try to figure out why. Can you delegate more? Are you taking too much time to finish them? Are there too many interruptions? Evaluate why the same one or two items keep reappearing on your list each day without ever getting done. Is it something you dislike doing?
Make a plan and work your plan. It's amazing how much better you can plan and evaluate when you have a written To-Do list to work with!
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.