The never ending to do list

FAN2003506Have you noticed that your to do list is growing? Sometimes it seems like for every item you complete, you have to add 2-5 more items. Or, does that just happen to me?

I used to have a notebook labeled “never ending list of 5 minute projects”. What was interesting was that list was mostly a compilation of tasks other people thought I should be doing. Very little of it had anything to do with what I was actually accountable for producing.

And, there was virtually no reward for finishing that list – but there were definitely consequences when my own work wasn’t done.

Make a habit of putting your most important items in the calendar first. Do your job first.


Time for follow up

follow upSet aside a regular time for follow up

You’ve met all these great people – in person at events, online through social media, or via email introductions from others.

You know you have to follow up with them, and it had better be quickly!

But you are too busy right now – your schedule is just packed.

So, you set those cards aside telling yourself you will follow up ‘soon’ – just as soon as you finish this one thing.

Then days go by, or weeks or months, and you find the card/email again and kick yourself for not following up before now.

And now it is too late.

What if you just had one appointment a week in your calendar marked for follow up activities? And what if, during that one appointment a week which has been scheduled, you made your follow up calls, wrote your notes, etc.? 

I promise you, scheduling one hour (or even just 30 minutes) in your calendar on a regular basis will save you tons of time – and will probably add to your bottom line!


© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

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Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at

How much time do you really have?

I did a fascinating exercise this week – related to how we schedule ourselves (or not). We took a blank day page and scheduled time to tackle all those tasks and activities that have to be done every day. We were just working from the workday – so figure 9 to 5. What we discovered is that after scheduling all the daily routine items, we had 4 hours left each day to get other work done.

Then, we took a blank weekly page and scheduled in all those activities and tasks that have to be done every week. We figured out what day would be best, and then put them into the schedule. (We had already added all the routine items to the week page – so we weren’t going to double schedule ourselves.) These items filled up at least another hour a day – leaving us with three hours.

Finally, we took the month (with daily and weekly routine items) and began to look at periodic tasks and activities.

As you can imagine, the schedule filled up very fast! What became obvious was how much time was consumed by routine tasks and activities. It became a great framework to begin to look at what we could delegate to someone else, and how we were setting up our days.

Long before we reached the end of the exercise it became clear why so many of us go through our days feeling completely overwhelmed! But a very interesting thing began to emerge. The more we actually took the time to schedule the tasks (as opposed to simply having them live on a to do list), the less overwhelmed we were feeling. Yes, the schedule was full, but we were certain about when things were going to get done, and we had a very clear picture of what was in progress and what was due when. And the impact of ignoring the routine tasks became obvious.