Category Archives: Productivity & Planning Tips

4 Must-Know Steps for Following Through

Planner and iPhone by koalazymonkeyBelow are the steps to making a powerful list that will offer you confidence that you are doing what you need to be doing, when you need to be doing it.

1) Write your list

Your first step is to write down all the tasks you can foresee having to do today and in the future—this is your master task list. Tasks that you don’t see doing anytime soon can be put on a “Someday” list.

Once you’ve chosen the specific tasks you wish to accomplish today, write them in your planner and organize your list by context. Simply put your work tasks at the top, your home tasks at the bottom and any errands or on-the-go tasks in the middle of your list. Some individuals like to go a step further and differentiate their contexts by using different colored inks.

2) Categorize your tasks by urgency and importance

This is an important step because it ultimately determines the path of your productivity.

Categorize your tasks with a coding system, using letters and numbers:

  • Scan through your list and select items that absolutely must be done today. Assign those the letter A. Be sure to be selective here—these are strictly time-sensitive tasks that must get done today.
  • Review the list for tasks that need to get done and assign the letter B to those. While not urgent, B-level tasks include the most important steps you take toward reaching your goals. You must get them done, but you won’t suffer consequences if they’re not completed today.
  • Put the letter C by items that are neither urgent nor important. These are items you want to do, but they can wait for another day. C-level tasks are the expendable part of your daily plan.

3) Give your tasks order

Now, number your tasks. Number each task in an order that suits your daily flow. Take into consideration your own patterns of productivity, daily energy swings, anticipated locations, and how one task affects another.

As you complete your list organization, it’s important to keep in mind that new tasks will undoubtedly pop up as you go about your day. Use the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s of your list as a decision scale for choosing where this new task fits in. For example, you may have to decide if returning a phone call (a “B” task) is more important than meeting a project deadline (an “A” task).

4) Follow through on your list

The final step in prioritizing your list deals with your own behavior as you go through the day. The best course of action is for you to honor the priorities you’ve assigned to your tasks. By being impeccable with your word, you will enjoy better productivity and balance in your life.

Let us know if this method of prioritization works for you, and be sure to include new tips of your own.

Get more tips on planning, organizing and productivity for every facet of your life by visiting the AT-A-GLANCE Success Center.

 

How to Use Your Planner Every Day

AAG Planner

You’ve purchased your planner, now it’s time to begin your daily planning process.

Here are some tips for using your planner every day:

Keep your planner with you

The best way to begin using your day planner everyday is to simply just begin. A great tip for starting out is to carry your planner everywhere, to meetings, to the grocery store, and event to the coffee table as you watch evening TV. By simply making your planner omnipresent you will find yourself more frequently using it in different facets of your life.

Create a daily planning routine

To begin your planning process it’s a good is to create a cheat-sheet that offers quick reminders. It might say: “1) list appointments; 2) list daily tasks; 3) review yesterday’s notes;” and so on. At first follow the blueprint for your schedule to a tee. In time you will learn areas where you can be more flexible. Be sure to include time for planning throughout your day.

Commit yourself to the process

The hardest part of integrating planning into your lifestyle is forming the habit. Learning a new planning system requires breaking old habits like working without a task list, not keeping a schedule, and writing notes on random slips of paper. Commitment is necessary, otherwise you may find yourself skipping steps and falling off the planning wagon. You will enjoy better time management and productivity when you’ve bought-into your personal organizer system.

Plan in daily sessions

Schedule a 15-minute daily appointment with yourself. Choose a time of day that works best for you. How? Go read the rest of this tip at ataglance.com: Use Your Planner Daily

 

Control Your Email Inbox Today!

organize your inbox

Are you tired of drowning in email?

Inbox clutter isn’t restricted to your living space or place of work — it’s present in the digital world, too.

Here are several email organization tips you can use to keep email clutter from biting into your daily productivity:

  1. Create a Virtual File Cabinet: Within your inbox, create and use folders and functions such as color-coding and flags to divide, sort and conquer your email.
  2. Can Your Spam: Spam is an inbox killer that can eventually create an overwhelming maze of messages you have to sort your way through. Make sure to unsubscribe to any newsletters, and flag emails that sneak through the spam filter so that they will be properly dealt with in the future.
  3. Group Your Buddies: Create folders for each of the people you converse with on a daily or frequent fashion. After you read each email, drag the message into the folder for storage. This provides a chronological overview of all communications and issues discussed with those contacts.

Read the rest of the tips at ataglance.com: Tips on Taming Clutter in Your Email

photo credit: smilla4 via photopin cc

Cheers! 10 Ideas for a Successful New Year

Bob Sadowski:

Want a proficient, organized and productive 2014? Use these Top 10 ideas from our friends at Day-Timer to kick the year off in the right direction.

Originally posted on Day-Timer:

toastHappy New Year from everyone here at Day-Timer and the ACCO family of brands. We wish you only the best times ahead and hope you find success through better organization and productivity in 2014.

To start your year off right, here is a list of the top posts from the past year on the Day-Timer Blog:

  1. Mission Declutter: 5 Ways to Organize Your Workspace
  2. 6 Tips to Start Your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions
  3. The 5-Minute Personal Organization Tip That Works
  4. Mix Outlook with a Paper Planner for a Productive Day
  5. Ask Jeff Q & A – Readers’ Outlook Tips
  6. Ask Jeff: What Type of Planner Should I Use?
  7. The 5 Minutes of Planning that Will Save Your Day
  8. Dedicate Yourself to a Better Notetaking Solution
  9. To-Dos and Tasks – Maximizing Your Daily Planner
  10. 6 Easy Steps for Buying Yourself More Time

Want more tips and tricks for a better 2014?

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