The single most effective action you can take to become more productive is to make use of a planner/calendar. I use both terms, planner or calendar, because planning and scheduling are actually different functions that you ought to incorporate in to the same gizmo. You ought to enter all time-specific commitments, both business or personal (the calendar function), then plug tasks from your to-do list in to the times that are left (the planner function). In case you have not been using a planner/calendar consistently you will be amazed at how much
simpler and more productive your life can be.
Do not mistake activity for results, because you are doing something does not mean you are being productive. What makes a day productive is not crossing things off your to-do list: it is working on the important things in your business. In order to be productive, you require to manage your time and your workload. That means planning, and that's related to a planner/calendar.
Once you start using a planner, you are seldom faced with a blank page when you turn the page to a new day. You will have already entered time-specific to do, follow-ups, project pieces, meetings, errands and phone calls on the days you require to address these tasks. When you can see the day is about to overflow, you can start re-prioritizing, rearranging and rescheduling if necessary to keep away from making a schedule that you cannot possibly execute.
Schedules are much busy these days to depend on memory alone. You require single place to keep track of all meetings, tasks, projects, and follow-ups. Keep all time commitments, whether professional, personal, or relatives in a single calendar. Otherwise, ultimately you will forget something or double-book yourself. important note, enter both work and family/personal commitments in to your calendar.
You may currently be using several calendars: on your phone, another on your computer, a third in a tiny laptop you keep in a purse or pocket, and possibly a relatives calendar hanging on the wall. As long as your information is scattered in plenty of different places, you will struggle to be truly organized and productive. You require single calendar that you trust because you know it's all the information in it
you require to be where you are supposed to be, and what you are supposed to be doing at any given time.
You might find the best way to go is with some combination of paper & electronic. Some people keep their calendars in Outlook or Google Calendar, & then print it out for an extended range view.
The best planner/calendar is that can capture thoughts & to-dos wherever you happen to be so you will use it consistently. Therefore, you ought to select something, whether paper or electronic, that is tiny to have with you on a regular basis.
Your planner needs to be the one-stop-shop for everything you have ever promised anyone, including yourself, that you would do. It needs to be a trusted process that contains your meeting schedule, projects, task lists, status notes, follow-ups, and cross-index to your tickler file. In the event you are conscientious about keeping your planner up to date, you can relax and know you would not overlook anything.
Using lists effectively is the secret to success. Important thoughts occur to us spontaneously throughout the day things to do, to follow up on, to buy, to speak with someone about. In case you do not capture them immediately, they are going to be gone. Keep your lists in place and keep that place with you on a regular basis so you can enter things you need to do before you forget them. Do not let yourself create the habit of jotting things down on multiple pads of paper. I have seen lots of people frustrated by notepads all over their office, each with the top half-dozen sheets of paper covered with lists of various sorts. The result is they have no idea where to look next. What has already been completed and what has been overlooked are lost in the visual clutter of half-completed, partially crossed-off lists.
You may select to separate your list in to tasks of different categories, but at least if everything is in place you will know exactly where to look when you are at the store, on your way to a gathering, prepared to return phone calls, or when you find yourself with a few additional moments to get something completed. To make things simple, that place with all of your lists ought to be in your planner/calendar! That way, you can quickly transfer a task from of your lists right in to your calendar in case you see you have an open slot in your schedule.