Are big goals getting lost among the daily stream of to-dos? These tips can help.
You might be what we like to call an Ingenious Juggler. You are a guru of getting things done, a detail-driven list-making machine! You revel in the joy of checking that box and starting a new to-do list. You are laser-focused on winning the day, and never forget to grab a gallon of milk on the way home. For all your to-do diligence, however, you sometimes lose focus on achieving the faraway goal that looms on the horizon — we’ve got some great tips that’ll help continue your daily dominance, and get your longer-term game leveled up, too.
If you’ve got tasks that never seem to get done, it’s time to find out why.
Some tasks on your to-do list just seem to keep carrying over day after day until you’ve somehow put them off for months. Before you know it, you’re out of time to complete a goal you thought was in the bag. So what happened? Either the task wasn’t that important in the first place, or there’s something standing in the way of you completing it. Either way, something’s wrong. To keep from falling into this trap, take stock of what’s been on your to-do list for longer than a few days, marking each item that falls into that category with a Post-it® Flag or Post-it® Tab. Then, take a close look at each item and decide what should come off your list, and what you should apply your problem-solving skills to in order to move forward.
Create virtual “buckets” to divvy up tasks and attach them to timelines and subtasks.
There are times when being a great multi-tasker can make it tough to understand how to approach a project that’s got lots of steps or stages. The bucket method can help — it’s a system that helps you organize tasks into steps along a path that show you what’s been done, where you are now and what’s next. For instance, for one project, you could create three columns on your Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface Sheet labeled Backlog, To-do, In Progress and Completed. Write each task that needs to be completed for that project on a Post-it® Super Sticky Note, 3 in. x 3 in. and place them where they need to be — because you can stick and re-stick your notes, they’ll move along your buckets as needed, helping you track individual tasks as they move through those stages. Not only can the bucket method help you manage your projects, but it might also help you find places where you can reduce the number of stages in a process or help tasks move faster.
When you’re working with a team, use project lists to keep everyone on the same page.
When you’re working with a team, it can be a great idea to create project lists that explain tasks and assign responsibilities where everyone can see them. Sounds simple, but it can be a powerful way to save time and make everyone feel like they’ve got the respect and responsibility they deserve on their projects. Post-it® Super Sticky List Notes, 4 in. x 6 in. and Post-it® Easel Pads can be great tools for this, when each team member uses them to make project to-do lists and posts them in the office where everyone can see them. When each team member knows what’s going on at a glance — who owns each task, how much progress everyone has made and what’s happening next — your team can avoid endless emails and feel empowered to take charge of what’s next. Give project lists a try the next time you’re working with a team, and see how much clearer your communication can become.
Put your to-do list directly on your calendar to stay on-task.
Sometimes the most helpful methods for dealing with to-do lists are the simplest. Putting your to-do list on your calendar means that you’ll see everything you need to do the moment you open your schedule for the day. Simply take each item on your to-do list, estimate how long it’ll take to get done and write it directly on your Post-it® Weekly Planner. You can also add Post-it® Arrow Flags to highlight the most important tasks for the day or to color-code your tasks by subject, client or category. When your calendar’s got everything you need to do, you don’t have to worry about forgetting or missing something, and your day will be a lot less stressful.
Analyzing a tough decision with a pro/con list can help you make decisions.
When you’re making an important decision, it helps to create a list of pros and cons. When you have to boil something down to simple bullet points, it forces you to figure out what really matters. Try writing your list on two different-colored Post-it® Super Sticky List Notes, 4 in. x 6 in. (one for pros, one for cons), sticking them where you’ll see them in the morning, and then leaving the list alone for the night. When you come back with a fresh perspective, you might have a clearer view of things. You can also try sharing your list with someone else and asking for help to brainstorm more pros and cons. When you’ve exhausted all the possible options, you can compare and contrast each side of the list to make the most logical and informed decision. Or, if you’re in the office, write down all the factors you can think of on several Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, 3 in. x 3 in., using two different colors (such as green for pros and pink for cons). Stick them all up on a wall until you’ve exhausted your thoughts, and you’ll have a strong visual idea of which color is more dominant — and therefore, which way your decision is leaning.
Step outside the daily stream of tasks to write down your biggest dreams and goals.
It can be tough to get out of the daily grind of checking boxes off your to-do list in order to regain your perspective. When you make a list of long-term goals and dreams, it can really help you see what you’re working for and where you want to end up. So make a list of your long-term goals from time to time, even if you think they’re too ambitious or farfetched. When you put your list on a Post-it® Super Sticky List Note, 4 in. x 6 in., you’ll be able to keep it in plain sight to remind yourself of your most inspiring goals. When the daily grind gets you down, re-stick your list somewhere new so you’re more likely to read it — and use it to lift yourself back up. If you want to supersize your big-goal list, stick Post-it® Dry Erase Surface, 3 ft. x 2 ft. to your office or kitchen wall, and write down your dreams in dry erase marker — you’ll be reminded every day of the things you want to achieve in a big way.
Along with some key Post-it® Products, these insider tips will help the multitasking multitudes take a moment to remember the larger, longer term goals in their lives. Use them well!