Tag Archives: summer

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.

 

Prioritizing Your Tasks Can be as Easy as ABC and 123

Prioritizing Your Tasks Can be as Easy as ABC and 123

Summer is typically associated with vacationing and enjoying relaxing free time for yourself and family. While this holds true to a point, this is also a season that presents multiple ongoing tasks, such as yard and garden work, home maintenance and improvement, and attending events ranging from youth sports to family reunions.

And with back-to-school season upon us, it’s noticeably obvious that you have a lot of things to do! But do you know where to start?

Below 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. Continue reading

Family Truckster by myoldpostcards

Save Time and Alleviate Stress with Proper Vacation Planning

Five tips from productivity expert ACCO Brands help to make family vacations manageable and enjoyable

School’s out, the summer is here, and with it comes family vacations. This, in itself, brings a feeling of uneasiness to many, primarily due to lack of planning and ill-defined schedules. But rest easy—we have several tips to help you get the most out of your vacation this summer.

“Most vacations are planned with only the best of intentions—but are they WELL-planned?” asks Lissa Cupp, vice president, e-Commerce and Consumer Marketing, ACCO Brands. “Poor organization can make the most well-intentioned family vacations go awry. Proper planning and time management will afford families the time to relax and enjoy their trips.”

Here are several steps you can take to get organized for your vacation:

Write it down to get around: Use a daily planner or calendar to create a “vacation map” to track all your intended activities and destinations. Plan out each day so you can easily refer to where you have been, where you are and where you still want to go. Be sure not to over-book yourself.

Do your homework: Prepare your trip in advance, as much as possible.

  • Make a list of the attractions you want to visit and check ahead to find out the busiest times.
  • Purchase tickets for attractions and events in advance whenever possible. Use a pocketed file or organizer to keep your tickets, itineraries and other trip materials in order.
  • Gather and organize items needed during the trip, including clothes, toiletries, snacks, electronics and other equipment, including chargers and adapters.
  • Don’t rely completely on your GPS—plan your driving routes. Check on current and future road construction along your routes, as well.

Perform the “21-point inspection”: For those vacations that include a long drive, perform a thorough checkup on your vehicle. You might not know all 21 points on your car but some of the most important ones can be easily checked, including fluids and tires. Consult your auto record book to see what maintenance is due on the vehicle before you leave.

Takeoff to a great vacation: When traveling by air, many things like delays and lost baggage are out of your control. However, you can take steps to make your experience more pleasant.

  • Get a ride to the airport to avoid parking.
  • Check for flight delays online or via smart phone apps.
  • Leave your family some extra time to get settled.
  • Take an earlier flight so that your family can hit the ground running on the first full day.
  • Come back a day early so you can ease back into your daily routine.

A day of relaxation: A family vacation can tire you out just as much as an everyday job. Give yourself a day of relaxation. Plan some free time for the final day of your trip. That extra day will give your family the flexibility to do something they might not have been able to do during the course of the week. Maybe you’d simply like to relax and unwind. “ Isn’t that why you took a vacation in the first place?” adds Cupp.

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

[photo by myoldpostcards]