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.


Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 3—Break It Down

Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 3—Break It Down

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For the past two weeks, we’ve looked at a simple goal-setting method that will carry you from your goals to tasks in a few easy steps. It’s called “Building the Bridge.” Following is Part 3 of the four-part series.

In this section of our goal-setting series, we get down to the real meat and bones: the formation of tasks that will inspire action. We call this important step “Breaking It Down.”

It shouldn’t surprise you that procrastination is the root of most failed goals. Getting started is half the battle. And, when it comes to goals, most procrastination comes from either one of three causes:

  1. You don’t know where to begin
  2. The task seems too big and daunting
  3. You’re not motivated to do the work

Continue reading Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 3—Break It Down

Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 2—Build Your Bridge

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Last week, we introduced you to a simple goal-setting method that will carry you from your goals to tasks in a few easy steps. It’s called “Building the Bridge.” Following is Part 2 of the four-part series.

In this section, we’ll discuss the step of actually building the bridge, the activity from where the name of this whole plan comes.

Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 2—Build Your BridgeOnce your goals are set as we did in Step One—Start Your Goal Smart—the next step is to find your way to the actual daily activities you’ll use to achieve your goal.

That brings us to Step Two: Building the bridge.

Between your goals and tasks are the intermediate steps, the building blocks that make up the various ways you’re going to get your goal done. So, for example, if your goal involves saving money, you need to discuss the ways you’re going to do it.

Ask yourself, “How can I achieve this goal?” and then write down all the answers that come to mind. Use a fresh page in your notebook or planner for each goal. Continue reading Easy and Effective Goal Setting: Part 2—Build Your Bridge