To Do or Not To Do – That Is The Question

“I have so much to do that I don’t know where to start”. The stacks of paper are piled high, the list of phone calls is impossibly long, and the emails flow in like water through a broken dam. It feels all these to-dos are swirling around us like a tornado twirling out of control. Do you long to break free from the chaos? So many people feel frozen by such overwhelm so they end up channel surfing away precious time, or web browsing or talking on the phone. Another day gone and nothing accomplished. Sound familiar? What to do?

When you have a lot to do, it is best to start by organizing. Why? Because organizing is part of the planning process and the more we plan, the less time it takes to complete the task. And good planning means making a list, but not a typical to do list.

So get out a blank sheet of paper and follow these tips to get your day organized:

  • First, assess how much available time you have today to complete your to-do list. Write this across the top of your list. Example: your day consists of meetings, appointments, etc., so you end up with 3 hours to devote to your list. Write 3 hours across the top of your to-do list

  • Next, make a to do list. Do you usually make a long list of everything you want to get done and then only complete a small portion of it? Instead make a realistic list. Strive to have a short list that you can finish. It is important to set yourself up to succeed rather than fail. Leaving things unfinished does not feel good at the end of the day. If there are 15 things on your list and 6 are done, the list is still incomplete. Better to list six things and get them all done.

  • Write time estimations for each task – How long will each task take you? Write this next to the task.

  • Add up how long it will take you to complete the entire list. If you have a 3-hour block of time for your to-do list, are you scheduling 6 hours of tasks?

  • Prioritizing is the key. Ask yourself these questions:

      • Do today’s tasks have a deadline?
      • If yes, is it a real deadline or a self-made deadline?
      • What are the repercussions of not getting it done today?
  • Don’t schedule 100% of your allotted time. Make sure to factor in time for unexpected interruptions as well as the usual things like phone calls and e-mails.

Take charge of your day with these simple tips. You will see a big difference if you spend a few minutes planning before you get started. I wish you success in completing all your to-do lists.

Susan Lovallo is a Professional Organizer & Certified Public Accountant who will help you organize your home, office, time, or finances. To arrange a personal, confidential session, please feel free to contact Susan Lovallo at Clutter Solutions.

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A professional organizer for more than 15 years, Susan Lovallo, CPA, CPO, works with individuals and businesses to help them declutter, simplify and establish or streamline systems. Whether you are organizing your home, business, or financials, the result is greater productivity with less effort, providing more time to enjoy life. Clients appreciate Susan’s easy and effective solutions and financial expertise, as well as her patience, compassion and sense of humor.

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