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How to get more done and worry less

February 27th, 2012

How to get more done and worry less

Weekly strategy for managing multiple projects

Do you know where you stand on all your current projects? Are you clear on your next action and what you need to do to accomplish your next step?  If you don’t yet feel this way, but would like to, this simple weekly exercise can help. We’ve all experienced times when we’re drowning in unfinished projects. In this state, it’s difficult to make the best decisions moment by moment. To kick this confusion to the curb:

  1. Get a handle on categories first. Group, group, group all those details. How? Write down the major categories of all the projects you’ve got going on in your life, including your personal life.
  2. List individual projects. Under each category, list the major projects.  Feel free to skip back and forth from area to area while you’re creating your list. As you do so, your mind will slowly empty and you’ll find that jumble in your head transforms into a branching list that’s much easier to remember. Write this list of projects on the same piece of paper, or in the same computer document.
  3. Identify next actions. Once you clear your head, you can look at an individual project and know quickly and easily what the next action you need to take is to move that project forward. Write this action item down on this document or add it to your calendar. You may amaze yourself at how much you know.   Some typical actions may be sending an email or calling to set up a meeting.
  4. Take the most important action when you have the most energy. When you start your high productivity time of day (might be morning, might not) with the highest priority item, you’ll feel empowered by your own get-up-and-go. Then the next item is that much easier to do, and then another, and then another.

Tech Tip: Excellent mobile apps are now available for writing and organizing lists. A few of my favorites are eTodo, Taska and OMNIFocus (Mac). For those who like to draw their lists, check out Mindjet.

Have you used lists to improve your productivity? Tell me about how you felt when you turned your mental mush into doable action items.

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