How To Manage Your ToDo List With This Simple System
Right now, as you are reading this blog post, how many things are on your to-do list? How many times have you lost your to-do list? And do you find it overwhelming?
Many of us have had those days where we are always busy but have not got a lot done, can you relate?
I used to be someone who couldn't keep track of all the things I had to do. Think about how many plates you have to keep spinning, and it is easy to see how overwhelm can creep in.
So I devised a process, which at first, may seem a little over the top, but once you start using it, it takes little effort to maintain.
So let's talk about this process.
I have a daily Habit checker to stay on track. These habits are formed around relationships, business growth, and health.
I then have my overall game plan and a Trello board that details what I need to do and when. The thinking is already done for me (by me when I was in more of a thinking mood).
I then can move things around depending on my energy and inspiration of that day.
So let’s break down the systems.
I have a Trello Board named 'organisation'.
If you are not familiar with Trello, it is a project management tool. I see managing my to-do list as a form of a project, so to me, it is quite fitting.
Essentially you can create a board on Trello, you have a board for each project. On the board, you can have different lists. As you can see below:
Here are the lists within the Trello board, and an overview of them.
Tasks Not Yet Assigned
This is the task list. Drop any task in here. Analyse if it is more important than tasks already scheduled if so amend diary as necessary.
This is where I note down an overview of a project that I want to work on. When I am actually working on the project, I break it into daily tasks and assign them to a specific day.
These are tasks that have now been assigned with a date and are on the calendar. I will mark them green, amber, red. Depending on energy levels, green is a low energy task; amber is a medium level task, red is where high energy levels are required.
I guess this goes without saying, but this is where the tasks go once they are finished. This is quite satisfying.
Time Management Tips
I like to note down my time management tips as just having it there reminds me to use them.
This is time allocated to think about specific topics. Time to think like a CEO and look at the big picture. Think along the lines of how you can grow, how can you streamline your service, and improve customer happiness.
Working ON The Business
This is where you action some of that CEO thinking.
Working IN The Business
This is doing the stuff you wouldn't get paid for if you didn't do it. If you are managing a team that does the service or create the product, your role of managing them is still deemed as an 'in' the business task.
Objectives and Intentions
This list is to map out the intentions of the month.
On The Go Tasks
Tasks I can do on the go. Implementing this list on the board really helped me as I could look at it on the go and see what I could do to maximise my time. Whether it is responding to emails or getting stamps, this list is very beneficial.
I include this list in what would otherwise be a very work-based list because I feel the two blends really well. As you know we firmly believe wellness has a considerable part to play in success.
So how does the board function? Well, when I think of things that need to be done, either in the CEO thinking time or just randomly on the go, I dump the tasks in the first list (Tasks Not Yet Assigned).
Each week I look at the objectives and intentions and break down what tasks need to be done. I assign the tasks to a day and work on the each one based on how much energy or inspiration I have.
To create content, for example, I need to be in an inspired mood or to get a project completed I may need high energy levels, whereas admin tasks do not require as much energy or inspiration so I can do these nearer the end of the day, when my energy is lower.
So habits from the second part of the process.
The idea is that I can get ahead of 'The Game' (my workload) by 1-2 week and then as long as I keep up my daily habits, I will stay on track. So, naturally, I have a habit tracker. There are so many on the market, all doing a similar job so download your favourite from the app store.
The type of habits that I include are structured around my goals and workload. For mental health, one of my habits is to meditate; I also have a goal to show up, online and serve every day. But your habits need to be personal to you. My advice is not to set habits that overwhelm you.
You do not want to see them as a chore!
I strongly suggest creating rituals to ensure you stay on track. To give you an example, if one of your habits is to journal maybe, you do this first thing as you are making your coffee, or perhaps you read just before you jump in the shower.
It is all about building habits based on existing practices. My advice as to how to make it more of a ritual is to make it fun, ensure there is some reward or nice touch such as lighting a candle to signify the start of your journaling process.
Bringing It All Together
So how does the system work together?
Well, it is pretty simple, the Trello board keeps you moving forward, growing your business as well as maintaining it. The habits keep you on track.
The best thing about this process is that it is customisable. Instead of having a rigid calendar that you MUST stick to (taking all the fun out of your day) you get to work on the tasks that match your inspiration and energy levels.
About the author
Chloe Slade is the Marketing Manager here at Cone and focuses on creating content that brings business and lifestyle together. Chloe is a keen makeup lover, foodie and loves to work from luxurious destinations.