Make a To-Do List
In Smart Work Habits By stacymorgan

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Don’t get overwhelmed at work.  Never underestimate the power of a simple to-do list.

Organization at work is key for time management and keeping yourself on schedule.  Breaking your workload down into simple to do lists helps you get things done in an orderly fashion.  And nothing is more satisfying than crossing tasks off your list.  Check!

The Daily List – Compile those repeated tasks that you do every day (P/U Mail, Do Time Sheet) into a simple Daily To-Do List.   A word processing or spreadsheet program like MS Word or MS Excel can do the job.  Save it to your desktop so you can quickly review the tasks for completion.  Go through your list throughout the day and especially before going home.  “Did it, did it, did it, oooh almost forgot that one!” and you will never overlook anything.  

The Project Specific List – It’s easy for long-term projects to get buried in your overwhelmed schedule.  Keeping a Project To-Do List will keep you on track.  Spend a few minutes at the start of a project breaking it down into milestones.  Record them in Microsoft Outlook using the Calendar and Tasks features for scheduled reminders. Automated reminders like, “Initial figures due to client” assigned for Wednesday at noon help prevent you from falling short on big projects.  

The Non-Repeating Task List – This regular To-Do List includes things that are your responsibility, but aren’t part of your daily routine.  Record them together so you never forget anything.  There are some fun desktop post-it note applications that allow you to quickly record and color code such tasks.  And they stay bright and colorful right on your desktop.  Then delete them when they are complete.    

The Monday Morning List – You may have been organized and efficient all week long.  But certain days are heavier than others, and perhaps need a list of their own.  Monday mornings, for example.  After a weekend spent partying with friends, your tired and your brain is clouded while you wait for the first cup of coffee to kick in.  Make a standard Monday To-Do List to use repeatedly.  Or take the last few minutes of your Friday afternoon to scribble down a quick list of what you need to tackle first thing on Monday.

Staying organized in a busy work environment can be a major feat, but if you enforce To-Do lists, you can always see what needs to be done at a glance.  This not only keeps you on schedule and manages your time, but keeps you from going mute when your boss asks the dreaded “did you get that report done?”

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