Tag Archives: task

Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 4--Get on Schedule

Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 4—Get on Schedule

It’s been an enjoyable and educational journey over the last three weeks as we’ve broken down a simple goal-setting method that will carry you from your goals to tasks in a few easy steps. We call it “Building the Bridge”—and today, we’re providing the final installment of this four-part series.

In Part 4, we help you make goal-related tasks a meaningful part of your everyday life. We call this important step, “Getting on Schedule.”

In the previous step, called “Break it Down,” you created an action list for each goal. Now, using a monthly calendar, you can integrate these goal-related tasks into your daily and weekly planner schedules. Continue reading

Success is a Journey

Commit Yourself to Success: Use Your Planner Every Day

You’ve purchased your planner, set it up and studied its features and benefits. Now it’s time to begin your daily planning process.

Keep it with you
The best way to begin using your 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 even 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 routine
To begin your planning process, it’s a good idea to create a cheat-sheet that offers quick reminders. It might include action items such as list appointments, list daily tasks, 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. Continue reading

Hit a Home Run to Start Out Your Day

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

It’s the beginning of another busy day. There’s a lot to get done and many decisions to be made with little time for either. Quite frankly, your list of tasks is becoming downright intimidating. Where do you even start?

I say approach it like a game show. Whether it’s “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” a question-and-answer format game usually starts small and works its way up. In other words, they start with a few “softball” questions that grow more difficult as the game progresses. This same process can be used to attack your to-do list.JBER Intramural Softball

When you start off with a softball task, you ensure yourself of knocking your first task of the day out of the park. Limited to 30 minutes or less, some examples of softball tasks could be cleaning your desk or office area, updating your calendar and planner for the day, returning phone calls or emails, and wrapping a gift or two (The holiday spirit got me on that one!).

These are all easily addressed tasks that, when accomplished right off the bat, will provide you with a feeling of achievement and give you the confidence you need to complete any task on your list. It’s important to start the day on the right foot. Being able to cross out an item on your checklist first thing gets the wheels in motion and provides motivation to attack that ever-growing to-do list.

You have to start somewhere before you can rack up daily accomplishments. A softball task is a perfect way to do it, paving the way for you to play “hardball” the rest of the day. So, what are you waiting for? Play Ball!

[photo by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson]

Sometimes, Two Really is Better than One

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

As the saying goes, two is better than one—this applies to task lists as well. But wouldn’t that be counter-intuitive, you ask? Two task lists competing for the same allotted time, running the risk of duplicating—or completely eliminating—certain to-do items. What happened to shrinking your single list and making it concise and more targeted?

task list puuikibeachThose practices aren’t out the door by any means. However, this idea of using two lists is nothing new. In fact, if you follow our planning and organizing tips and tricks regularly, you’ll realize that you’re already doing it. Here’s the deal…

At the start of every day, we recommend you spend several minutes going over your schedule, prior task list and current to-do items in order to create a new task list. This is your Master List, so be sure to include everything of which you can think, be it from home, work or personal life.

The next step is prioritizing your list. Find the top items that must be done that day, have the highest level of criticality, and could prohibit you from accomplishing other tasks if left uncompleted. These are the action items you focus on for that day—THIS is your second task list!

The creation and use of this second list of actionable and priority tasks is vital in ensuring maximum productivity. Be sure to create an Action List every day in order to stay on task and limit it to a reasonable and achievable number of duties. Plus, update your Master List at least once a week. This will help to keep your priorities in order and prevent any tasks from falling through the cracks.

A two task list system is nothing new to planning and organizing—you just may have never called it that before or realized you were using it. Bottom line: However you refer to this planning system, it is one that makes certain responsibilities are accounted for and productivity is maximized. So, meet your “bottom line” and create your two lists today!

[photo by puuikibeach]

Are Your Priorities in Question?

By Lissa Cupp, vice president, e-Commerce & Consumer Marketing, ACCO Brands

Prioritizing your tasks is essential if you want to accomplish your goals on a daily basis…and beyond. But like most to-do lists, every item is high priority in the owner’s eyes. So how do you determine which tasks are most imperative to accomplish?

You can start the prioritization process by asking yourself these five questions: Continue reading