Are you a Masterful Magician? If so, you’re probably already adept at balancing ambitious long-term goals with the daily need to simply get things done. You handle everything like a boss — you’re a prioritization pro, an oracle of organization and a crafty collaborator. Yet even the wisest of masters knows that to achieve perfection is impossible.
So, we’ve got some ace tips that’ll benefit even the most productive professional, and give you some new insights into keeping your list-making game strong.
Divide all your tasks into four quadrants, and get a 10,000-foot view of your highest priorities.
If you’re a list-making pro with a lot on your plate, the quadrant method can help you get on top of your tasks from a high level. Divide your tasks into four equal quadrants – try using Post-it® Super Sticky List Notes, 4 in. x 6 in. or a Post-it® Super Sticky Big Note, which will give you the space you need and let you stick them up wherever you can get a better view. Label your quadrants in any way you like, but limit yourself to just four! To figure out what they should be, take stock by collecting to-do lists from recent weeks, calendar appointments and anything else you’ve been jotting down lately.
Once you have this big-picture data set in front of you, group your tasks — big and small — into the four most obvious categories. This technique should make it easier to plan and balance all of your daily and weekly tasks and responsibilities, and Post-it® Products allow you to keep your goals in sight. With the Quadrant Method, you won’t just be getting things done — you’ll be designing your own unique system.
A timeline chart helps you see prerequisites and deadlines, all in one glance.
Timeline schedules can be great for tracking a project with lots dependent tasks that can only begin when others end. Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface Sheets or Post-it® Easel Pads work well for this. Draw a grid to make a calendar, write in important milestones on particular dates and write all the tasks needed to achieve each milestone on separate Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, 4 in. x 4 in. Place the task notes on the intervening calendar days in order of priority. Because the notes can be easily removed and used again, you can move tasks around as needed, or take them away when completed. This gives you an easy visual reference to see the status of your project, and allows you to easily update it in real time. You’ll be tackling projects more efficiently than ever, and never miss a step.
Create two lists on side-by-side notes – one for appointments and meetings, the other for what you want to achieve during them.
For even the most seasoned list-making veteran, it can be tough to prioritize important tasks. Using two colors of Post-it® Super Sticky List Notes, 4 in. x 6 in., divide your list in two. On the left-hand note, make a chronological list of your tasks – things like meetings, conference calls and appointments. On the right-hand note, list what you hope to get done during those events, like coming up with a plan or discussing a particular issue. After you’ve finished writing the chronological list, add other tasks that have to be done that day in order of priority. That way, when you have some downtime, you can check your list and see which tasks you can tackle between appointments, or which need to be moved around. If you use a planner, transfer these tasks to Post-it® Notes, 1.5 in. x 2 in. and stick them on the day they need to get done – you can easily move them around if that date changes.
Being efficient and productive is an ever-evolving art form – sometimes you need fresh approaches to stay on top of things. Now that you’ve got a few new tools in your pro list-making kit, you’ll be able to tackle just about anything the day can throw your way.