Just Thinking Out Loud

Wildly Erratic & Completely Inconsistant

An Unproductive “To Do” List

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Do you keep a list of all the tasks you need done in your head? Does your task list consist of one task on one piece of scrap paper with lots of scraps cluttered around? Right off the top, I would like to acknowledge, I understand this method works for you. Thoughts and information are processed in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, you need to make a note quickly and move on. When time is of the essence, managing this type of “to do” list is shoved to the end of the list. Now, your productivity is hindered. Why?

You have told your brain to remember your “to do” list internally. This requires your brain to cycle through the “to do” list while you are trying to focus on something else. Especially when you are trying to focus on a task, you do not particularly want to do. Suppose “write business plan” is on your “to do” list and for the sake of this discussion, you find writing a business plan tedious. At this moment, you have decided to buckle down and write your business plan. You use a word that reminds you of a task on your “to do” list. You then try to remember where you wrote the note. When you cannot remember where the note is, you start looking for it. Derailed by your thoughts, you have been distracted from your objective and made less progress on your task. You have hindered your productivity.

I am not here to introduce a new organizational method for you to implement. Cause guess what? You are the way you are. Your method works great for you. If organizing things is not in your skill set, you will be wasting a lot of time trying to learn a method you will eventually abandon. I am here to help you be productive. My brain does not function the way your brain does. Organizing things comes naturally to me. That is why you hire me to maintain your “to do” list. You record a voice mail, send out a text message, or instant message me. It is my responsibility to organize, prioritize and maintain your “to do” list. Then, when you are in the process of writing your business plan, you can quickly reference your “to do” list if a word reminds you of a task. Also, you are not spending energy on remembering where each piece of scrap paper is located. Once you send me your idea, your brain checks it off your list of things to do. You know the information has been processed for you. This allows you to be more productive.

Written by Lara Nieberding, Online Business Manager

September 30, 2007 at 12:57 PM

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