I love planners (obviously, right!?). There are multiple planner uses and I have probably implemented every one of them at one time or another. Most of the time, they are perfect for whatever the need – but I have a hard time with fitting my full to-do list in them. See…my work to-do list is often two pages long. If we’re in the middle of the launch, it can be four pages.
I can’t fit a four page to-do list in my planner every day.
So I have started using the Action List Method and I trust it because I haven’t dropped any balls since.
I know that “making a to-do list” is a no-brainer but it’s the commitment and carry over that keeps me on-target.
See, I often find that I feel overwhelmed and stressed at the thought of all I need to accomplish between my family, my very demanding job, this blog, and my commitments to the planner community.
But when I write down the tasks, I can see line by line what needs to be accomplished and usually, it doesn’t feel as stressful any longer. It keeps the items I need to do right in my line of vision while bringing me back to reality that yes, I have a lot to do, but it’s not out of reach to accomplish it all.
The Action List Method at work:
- Keep one notebook on your desk at all times
- Decorate it a bit (you have to look at this thing all day – might as well have some washi and a sticker)
- Each morning, transfer any incomplete items from the previous day on to today’s page
- Next add in any additional items that you know (or hope) to accomplish today
- Now, as the day goes on, add everything to the list. It takes 2 seconds to write it down
- Grab the notebook especially when checking your email if email checks typically bring on more tasks for you.
- Use the notebook to track notes from meetings and phone calls
- Be sure to list phone calls/meetings on your to-do list
- When I am having a particularly busy day I use highlighters to color code my tasks – so that I can group like items together. For me there is nothing more frustrating during my work day than to close out of a program only to have to open it again three tasks later.
The same action list method can be applied to your home life or any area of your life where you can find yourself feeling overwhelm.
An added bonus is that you have a historic to-do list log – which has come in handy many time for me throughout the course of using the action list method.
What method do you use to track your tasks?