This week I discovered that the endless list of jobs I had going around in my head actually wasn’t as long as I’d previously thought. Lots of us say “Oh I’ve got so much to do, there’s just not enough hours in the day”. Well, this week I discovered a way of writing a to do list that really helped me to get on top of things. Sometimes I can be easily distracted when I’m sitting down in my office in front of the computer screen. I can a start a job and then something will trigger me in to starting another job before I forget it. The problem is I don’t necessarily go back to what I was working on in the first place, so that doesn’t get finished. And so on and so forth and before long I’m trying to work on several jobs at once, not getting anywhere with any of them and in my mind that never ending list is getting even longer.
I did used to write all my to do jobs on bits of paper but my desk was always disappearing underneath it all. You know the saying “a tidy desk is the sign of a tidy mind”. Well you can imagine what my mind was like when it came to the admin side of things. Well I was doing a business portrait for Steve Bishop, a Master Hypnotic Consultant who I met at last weeks Marketing Strategy Workshop, and we got talking and I told him about the problem of me thinking I always had so much to do and couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Steve suggested that I write all my things down on a single to do list, which I have done in the past but obviously to no avail. Anyway, later that evening I cleared all the bits of paper off my desk and sat down with my wife Helen who started a new “daily” to do list for me. Now here’s where the penny dropped, for instead of writing a straight forward list of jobs, as I would have done, she split the A4 sheet up into 8 separate boxes and started grouping the tasks. One box for emails, one for phone calls, ones for picture editing tasks, and others for marketing, networking follow-ups, accounts etc. The priority jobs get written in red, not so urgent jobs in green.
This helps me in a number of different ways:
- Only one piece of paper on the desk.
- Now I try to do all my job in groups i.e. all the emails together, all the phone calls together, etc.
- When something triggers me I just write it down in the right box on my to do list to do later.
- Writing EVERYTHING down helps you get it out of your head and enables you to see the bigger picture.
- If you print up 5 sheets at a time, one for each day of the week, you can do some forward planning too.
The week was finished off nicely with a halloween party with Ruby, our beautiful daughter, dressing up as a pumpkin – Ahhh…….