As a busy period of writing recently approached weekís end, I found myself taking some time to sort my thoughts on every task through the form of a list.
Iím not sure how much success others have with this technique but when Iím feeling a big overwhelmed, I often make a list of all of the things I need to get done. For me this accomplishes several things and it may prove a useful technique in searching for a school or trying to land a new position.
First off, the list eases that feeling that Iím forgetting something. Iíve taken time to think of every little thing and now I have it in print.
Secondly, in looking at the tasks, I often find that tasks I may have thought I should do first, actually should be done third or fourth, after some other tasks. So after I make a list, I typically then put that list in order. While Iíve taken some time out of my day for planning, this always pays off in time saved as I move from one task to the next.
One point of caution in ordering your lists: Do not put all of your least favorite tasks last. Doing this may cause you to spend all your time on your favored tasks, effectively putting off your least favorite. Mix in chores you enjoy more with the tasks youíre not looking forward to. Youíll find you get on a roll in terms of productivity.
I find the list cuts down on dead time in the day. When I complete one task, I look at the list and see the next ďassignment,Ē and move onto it.
If I make a call and leave a message, I might put a check mark to indicate that this person has been contacted. When they call back and I finish that item, I cross it out to indicate itís been completed.
I find that when I complete a task, thereís a surprising level of satisfaction in crossing that chore off my list. Iíve moved a step closer to completion of my overall plan.