When in Doubt, Trim it Out…of Your Task List, That Is

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

As the New Year gets underway, a lot of resolutions are made. According to research compiled for our infographic released in December, many of these resolutions are focused on slimming down. Waistlines aside, that’s exactly what we’re recommending you do: Slim down your task list!

Your task list is at the core of productivity and efficiency, and when it’s too large or over-burdening, your ability to plan and organize goes down the tubes. So, for this New Year, we recommend that you take the following steps to slim down and purge items on that task list in order to make it more manageable:

  • First, compile and analyze all of your lists—daily, monthly, goal planning, whatever time-frame or topic they cover. Be sure to include any lingering tasks that may not be included on any of the lists.
  • Next, determine which tasks are priorities and, most importantly, realistic. Give yourself a deadline for each that falls within the next 30 days.
  • From the remaining tasks, identify the ones you still want to accomplish in the near or not so distant future. You can use a grass-catcher list for these.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to delegate tasks to colleagues, family members or friends. You can’t do it all yourself, so get a little help.
  • Don’t hesitate to delete items from your task lists that are not feasible or unrealistic. If the item(s) didn’t fall into one of the actions above, chances are it can wait or will present itself again when the time is right.
  • Finally, look 30 days ahead in your planner or calendar and schedule your next task list purge date. If you stay on task and complete these steps, it should only take 15-20 minutes per month—a small investment to assure productivity.

Slimming down is never easy. However, as far as task lists are concerned, you don’t need Jillian Michaels of “The Biggest Loser” fame to keep you in line! By taking the simple steps outlined in this post every month, you can help assure a less stressful and better managed lifestyle.

It’s the beginning of a New Year—what better time to start trimming the excess from your task list. Have a very happy and productive 2013 from all of us at AT-A-GLANCE!

[photo by misteraitch]

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