Remember that task you planned to do today?
Yes, that one!
But somehow it’s the end of day and you didn’t get around to doing it.
Maybe it was a small task like:
- Returning a call
- Responding to an email
- Making that expense report
Or, may be it was a bigger one like:
- Setting a brainstorming session with yourself
- Completing the presentation
- Finishing a book or starting one
Somehow you never seem to complete your tasks…
Do you know why?
Tasks which don’t have a time and place allocated to them eventually slip through the crack of daily routines and you never get around to them.
To make sure you complete a task (or eve start one on time) you need to fix an appointment with it.
So how do you fix an appointment with your task?
The 30-second hack: Sync your to-do list with your daily calendar.
Put your todos on your calendar and make sure you pick a time as well as a place for all your daily tasks.
This may sound extremely elementary, but it’s a powerful time management tip.
This is essential to:
- Block off sections of your time for specific tasks. Otherwise this time may get taken over by meetings or other appointments.
- Increase the urgency of the task to ensure it gets done. If it’s on your schedule, there is a higher probability you will do it.
- Get to those tough tasks which keep haunting you but also get sidelined by everything else that is seemingly urgent.
Most people tend to keep their to-do list and calendar separate. However, they are more powerful when combined.
By putting a time slot for getting a specific task done, you prevent less important tasks or even urgent events from line-jumping.
How much time should you schedule for each task?
Make an educated guess. That email will probably take just 5 minutes to respond. But keep 30 minutes for completing that expense report and an entire hour for the brainstorming session.
However, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Review and change the to-do list regularly to adjust the timing for each task.
The fun thing about aligning your to-do list with your calendar is that as you review and make changes to your list, your calendar gets updated accordingly.
So as you look at your calendar on a daily basis it will show all your tasks and help you put your important work ahead of everyday interruptions. (Many of my clients that I coach forget to look at their todo list on a daily basis, but they usually check their calendars more than once a day).
How will you set a time for your tasks and put your todos on your calendar today?
Can you let me know in the comments?