Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Working Wednesday: How Do You Do Your To Dos?

Although there must be hundreds of productivity applications available for my desktop, iPhone, or iPad, I love the simplicity (and frugality) of a paper To Do list. At the start of each day, I write down a list of tasks to accomplish. If something new comes up during the course of the day, I can add it to the list without worrying that it will get lost in the shuffle of my email.

This is not rocket science.

A few months back, I bought this cute mouse notepad at (where else?) Anthropologie. The notepad has a little calendar on the top and lots of space to write.

(Similar: for $6 in purple polka dots; for $11.50 with birds on it; and more structured versions for about $9 each here, here, and here)

Having my To Do list on my mousepad means that my list is always literally right underneath my writing hand. It's always visible and something about constantly touching it seems to refocus me a bit. (A BIT. I still could use an internet outage now and again to further improve my productivity.)

A few of my favorite To Do List habits:

  • If I feel completely overwhelmed by a task, I break it down into smaller tasks until I feel confident with the steps (e.g., "Open a word document and save it as 'Deposition Memo.'" Okay, I can do that.)
  • Write down tasks I've already completed just so I can cross something off.
  • Use different colored ink for different days. That way I save paper by combining lists but can easily distinguish the tasks that have been sitting idle for a while.
How do you keep your tasks organized at work? If you use To Do Lists, do you have any fun tricks to share?

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