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My Productivity System. How I Use a Calendar and a To-Do List to Stay Organised - Magoz Blog

Tips On How To Set Up To Do Lists

  • Start task names with a verb to make them more descriptive and easy to understand.
  • Break each task into smaller tasks.
  • Create temporary lists when needed.
  • Erase the temporary lists when you’re done with them.
  • Automate the setting up of recurring tasks when possible.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t use features your software has unless you need it.

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My Productivity System. How I Use a Calendar and a To-Do List to Stay Organised - Magoz Blog

My Productivity System. How I Use a Calendar and a To-Do List to Stay Organised - Magoz Blog

https://magoz.blog/productivity-system/

magoz.blog

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Key Ideas

Tips On How To Set Up To Do Lists

  • Start task names with a verb to make them more descriptive and easy to understand.
  • Break each task into smaller tasks.
  • Create temporary lists when needed.
  • Erase the temporary lists when you’re done with them.
  • Automate the setting up of recurring tasks when possible.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t use features your software has unless you need it.

Examples Of To Do Lists

  • Personal: for tasks that only apply to your personal life and are somewhat time sensitive.
  • Work: for work related tasks. You may want to create sister lists if your work is multifaceted. For instance: Work > Sales and Work > Acquisitions.
  • Someday: for tasks that you may want to achieve but not in the near future.

Basic Steps For Using a To-Do List

  1. Add tasks as they appear to the appropriate list, assigning a due date if possible.
  2. Before the day ends, check your lists for the tasks you want to do the next day. You can add a due date for it.
  3. Review the lists at the end of the day to have a clear idea of how your tomorrow will be and ensure you haven’t missed any tasks.
  4. In the morning open your to do list and choose the tasks you want to start with. Mark the important ones and focus on them first.

Tips On Using Calendars

  • Using calendars of different colors allows for easy identification.
  • Adding additional information like duration and address can save you time.
  • Sometimes it’s useful to set up alarms way before the event itself.
  • Set up different calendars for different areas of your life.

The To-Do List vs. The Calendar

The to-do list is for tasks and always requires actions to be completed. Meanwhile, the calendar is for events that happen by themselves, and may require participation.

Some events require tasks for a satisfactory completion, but those are tasks associated with the event, not part of the event. For instance: A meeting may require the task of reading, but the meeting is happening anyway.

The Benefits Of Apps Over Paper For Organization

  • Ease of access allows for usage on multiple platforms.
  • Moving and duplicating tasks without rewriting them.
  • Ability to set up alarms.
  • A paperless and minimal life.

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Align your to-do list with goals

  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.

Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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1. Time-Blocking

Time-blocking consists of assigning individual tasks to manageable time slots.

Instead of writing out short tasks alongside hours-long tasks on your list for the day and hoping you ha...

2. If/then Lists

To set reasonable goals make a list for high-energy days and another for when you are reluctant to work. Both lists should follow an “if/then” model.

The first lists should have the more involved tasks, while the second list should feature more mindless tasks like cleaning out your inbox, organizing your desk, or even napping.

3. Eisenhower Matrix

An Eisenhower Matrix breaks a to-do list into the four categories below:
  1. Has items that are both urgent and important, is to be tackled immediately.
  2. Items that are important but not urgent, can be scheduled for a later time.
  3. Tasks deemed urgent but not important can be delegated to others if possible
  4. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important should be crossed off the list altogether.

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Ruthless prioritization

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Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.

Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
  • Defer: complete it later
  • Delegate: assign it to someone else
  • Delete: remove it from your list

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