Ever have one of those to-do lists that keeps getting added to but never seems to have things getting crossed off? They can become garbage barges loaded with the guilt of undone tasks. Here’s a quick tip to help you get more done: schedule your to-do’s.
Tools like Google Calendar can let you do all sorts of things.
Schedule Q2 time
I use a calendar I call “time blocking” to remind myself of things I want to attend, like this #ynpchat. This calendar shows up online but not on my phone. So if people want to sign up for coaching, I know Mondays and Tuesdays are great for that. (It gives them the majority of the work week to take action on our coaching.) And if people want me to speak or train, I know Thursdays and Fridays are good on my calendar.
I’m not a prisoner to those times. But they remind me of the important things that I want to do. Stephen Covey calls this “Quadrant 2” time– things that are important but aren’t urgent. The things we need to do but don’t have deadlines attached to them. For many fundraisers, writing thank you notes falls into this category, doesn’t it?
Schedule weekly tasks
Each of us has things we need to do to maintain our job or business. It was far too easy for me to ignore those tasks when on a to-do list. But when I started putting them on the calendar, they started getting done.
I like scheduling these on the calendar that does sync up with my phone. And I try to schedule these earlier in the week so that if I have to move it, there is still plenty of week to move it too.
Schedule your 100
All of us have personal things we want to do that reach your list of 100 dreams and goals for the year. Putting them on your calendar helps ensure they get done.
One of my 100 things is to make a meat pie each month. So that got put on my calendar for Saturday. The bonus? Since my wife can see my calendar, she was able to plan on my making dinner. It’s always good having someone help you accomplish your goals!
Do you see how scheduling your to-do’s can help you actually do them?
Thanks for this, I am going to give it a shot… but I have to know, a meat pie? Have a recipe that you’d care to share?
The recipes are on my personal blog over at:
Thanks for that… I would love to hear more of your story at some point… perhaps on my next New England trip, or next time you are in the NYC area I could buy you lunch?
Sure thing! I don’t get down to NYC often so shoot me an email if you’re up this way firstname.lastname@example.org
Great tips, Marc!
I also find it helpful to block out chunks of time of my calendar, like Tuesday from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. to get specific tasks done, uninterrupted. I’ll review e-mails before 8:30, then switch my e-mail to the “work offline” mode, so new e-mails will not distract. That, combined with shutting my office door and putting my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode. Once 11:30 comes, I’ll re-activate everything for a few hours, then perhaps ‘hibernate’ myself again for an hour or two in the afternoon. For folks who don’t have an office, I suggest simply creating and hanging a prominent ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign outside their cube, and sharing with your co-workers what that means, and to please “catch you later.”
Many of us have what I call that ‘you’ve got mail’ chime on our e-mail systems, and find it hard not to click off of what we’re doing to respond. It’s amazing how much work you can get done when you temporarily deactivate your Outlook/other e-mail app.
Thanks David! I can’t STAND those chimes!!
I like the “hibernate” idea!