Today’s administrative professional has a variety of choices available when it comes to tracking To-Do’s. Businesses are making a fortune printing calendars and planners, creating apps, improving and designing software, and inventing gadgets to help us as administrative professionals be successful in meeting the demands of each work day. In addition to these systems, we can also elect to use electronic reminders, maintain a running To-Do List, use sticky notes, and send text messages or emails that can be sent to ourselves to help us fulfill our commitments.
So, what’s the best system? Talk to your colleagues, friends, and family members who are successful at meeting deadlines and appointments, getting work done, and not forgetting commitments. Try a few of their recommendations. There are great options available today. And to be honest—you need to use a system that works best for you!
My system is pretty simple. I integrate my personal and work To-Do’s into one system that works for me. Throughout any given day, I capture the To-Do and place it on a calendar or in a tickler file system on the date I intend to work on the To-Do. If I keep a long running list of everything that needs to get done in front of me, I will overwhelm myself. I only want to see what I need to get done on any given day. Note: Leaving any To-Do to be completed at the last minute is not recommended as unforeseen roadblocks can sneak up on you.
I prioritize the To-Do’s to make sure that those that are most important get my attention first. I spend time each weekend reviewing what needs to get done in the upcoming week. This helps me to stay focused on my commitments and puts me in the driver’s seat on any given day. I make sure to allow for some flexibility in my schedule as my days rarely go as planned. I also make sure to nurture relationships with my colleagues, close friends, and family in case I get into a jam and need to ask for help. On occasion, I will call upon a local business that runs errands and make deliveries to save myself some time.
Keeping and maintaining a well thought-out To-Do List sounds easy, but surprisingly many administrative professionals fail to write down or electronically enter important To-Do’s. The To-Do List can help administrative professionals to be more productive by focusing their time and energy on what needs to be done now without chasing commitments that can wait or be delegated.
So tell us–how do you prefer to keep track of your To-Do’s?