How to stay organized?


How to stay organized?

To do list guideIt’s all about planning, planning, planning (and then actually doing!).

While working in the corporate world I had the fortune of being sent to Franklin-Covey training seminars to learn their system on getting organized. Here are a few of the things I took home. Planning saves time! Take 15 minutes everyday to plan your day and you will be amazed how much more productive you are.

I have customized the Franklin-Covey system so it works for me. You can integrate this method in whatever way works best for you. The system I use has daily task lists. I suggest getting some kind of system where you can list tasks by day… use outlook, a paper planner or a spiral notebook.

Are there a million things floating around in your head that you know you have to do but don’t know where to start? Here is where to start: write down or type every single personal and business thing you need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. on one sheet of paper. This is your master task list.

Go through your master task list and see what must be done today. Put every task that must be done today or that you would like to get done today on a new sheet of paper with today’s date on it, now cross out those tasks from the master task list. Take today’s task list and prioritize it. Every task that HAS to be done today should be labeled with an A, tasks that would be really nice to get done today should be labeled with a B, and tasks that could be done today but don’t really have to be are labeled with a C. Now go through all the A tasks and prioritize those. A1, A2, A3… and get to work!

Start with A1 and be completely focused on it. Before moving to A2 finish A1 and check it off. Keep doing this throughout the day. When you reach the end of the day review your list and give yourself a pat on the back for all those tasks you completed. If there are any that did not get finished… that is okay. Move them to tomorrow’s task page and start over again tomorrow morning.

Once a week I write up my big master task list and then take time to divide it up for the whole week. Ultimately, I avoid doing any last minute rushed work because I plan ahead. If a project is due on Friday, it will be listed on Tuesday’s task list.

No to-do list or calendar system will work if you don’t look at it and use it every day. Remember to plan, plan, plan but also remember to take action!

This article originally appeared in the VANA newsletter on 2/10/07.

Sally Kuhlman provides marketing, admin and Web support services to entrepreneurs, non profits and small business owners. Visit for info.

In addition, Sally offers coaching services to fellow home based business owners guiding them to create balance in their life while working from home.

For a more clear and detailed explanation of how to manage your to-do list check out Sally’s new Kindle booklet published in September 2013: ABCs & 123s of Getting Stuff Done

One thought on “How to stay organized?

  1. Kylie Short

    I have to confess that I am a notebook gal. I have my system and surprisingly it works. I am always looking for ways to streamline my processes so thank you for this great article.

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