On getting tasks done

Some tips on completing tasks.
  • Avoid add a task to today’s todo list, rather add it to the future. Adding it to today’s list adds additional pressure to completing what you have already committed to do.
  • Does a task need to be completed perfectly, or just good enough? Remember the 80/20 rule. Often good enough is good enough.
  • Remember – you will always have things on your todo list.
  • Delegate the fun stuff – then it will get done.
  • Have one todo list only.
  • Take a break – you cannot be productive all the time.
  • Types of tasks
    • Should do
    • Must do
    • Don’t need to do
  • Remember David Allan’s wise words:
    • Do
    • Deletage
    • Defer
    • Delete (you will be surprised how often a defer turns into a delete)
  • Finally, review your task list at the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day (just for a few minutes).

What to get done

In my previous post I gave some tips on getting tasks done; here are some tips on what to get done.

  • Never accept a meeting on the same today – it messes up your planning
  • Know what you need to do today, and only focus on those – remember to eat the biggest frog First (Brian Tracey)
  • Don’t do other people’s work – it is too easy to say yes, but mean no – delegate!
  • Only commit to work that you can complete, and if you can’t complete it, don’t commit!
  • Don’t make promises you cannot keep.
  • Don’t let people flatter you, – if you don’t want to be involved, say no.

Stop being interrupted

Some tips to avoid interruptions and get things done.
  1. Put your phone on silent and turn it over (so you can’t see the screen).
  2. Switch off your email. You can check your email when the task is complete.
  3. Turn off your messaging clients (FB messages, Lync, Skype etc). Even better turn off your network connection if your task doesn’t need you to be online.
  4. Hide – one of my biggest distractions is people coming to my desk to ask a question. If I hide somewhere else they will call or email me if it is really important (in a corporate there are plenty of hidey holes).
  5. Focus on one thing at a time – there is no such thing as multitasking.
  6. Keep a notebook handy (or text file) – so if something pops into your head you can quickly write it down and move on.