Chapter 07. Make a daily to-do list
“Remember, to create wealth,
you can’t just score once,
you must be able to repeat it.”– Grant Cardone
Perhaps the most effective time management tool is the to-do list
that you create to execute the detailed plans for the day.
All successful time managers put their thoughts on paper
and work on their daily to-do lists.
Just as the pilot uses a checklist before each takeoff,
effective leaders take a few minutes to create a to-do list
before starting the day.
The best time to make a list is the night before,
because then your subconscious can process the list
while you sleep.
By the time you wake up in the morning,
you’ll often have the ideas
and insights to achieve the most important goals on your list.
At the end of each day,
the last thing you need to do is plan
for the next day.
In a study conducted with 50 high-performing business leaders,
49 out of 50 said that the best time management system
for them was a simple piece of paper
that included the to-do list. do before starting the action.
Many people toss
and turn at night trying not to forget what they need to do the next day.
If you create a to-do list before bed,
you’ll sleep a lot better and wake up more refreshed.
According to time management experts,
it takes about 12 minutes a day to create a list of tasks for that day.
However, this list will save you ten times
that time with increased productivity,
12 minutes spent preparing a daily list will give you 120 minutes
or 2 hours of high productivity when you get to work.
It was a great reward for such a simple task.
Once you’ve written your to-do list for the next day,
organize it by applying the ABCDE method to your activities.
The most important word in time management is consequence.
Whether a task is important or not depends on the possible outcome
of doing it or not doing it.
When setting priorities,
apply this principle to every task
and always start with the task with the greatest consequences.
That’s when the ABCDE method is particularly useful.
Start by making a list of all the things you have to do the next day.
Then write A, B, C, D, E next to each item on the list
before you start working.
An item marked A is a must-do.
It is important and there will be serious consequences
from doing it or not doing it.
Write A next to the tasks and activities
that you have to do during the day to be able to complete them.
Items marked with B are what you should do.
There are slight consequences from doing (or not doing) group B tasks,
but they are not as important as group A activities.
The rule here is to never do a group B activity
while one is left group A activity has not been completed.
Group C activities are good deeds,
but they have no consequences either positive or negative.
Chatting with a coworker,
having another cup of coffee,
or checking email are all good things to do,
and often feel fun and enjoyable,
but whether you do it or not has no consequences for you,
with your work efficiency.
Wasting time destroys career
Robert Half International estimates that about 50% of work time
is spent in Group C activities
that do not contribute to the work.
Everyone is a slave to habits.
Effective people build good habits and stick to them.
Ineffective people inadvertently build bad habits
and let those habits rule their lives.
Many people have the habit of starting work immediately
by falling into low-value
or worthless activities that waste time.
As soon as they get to the office,
they immediately find someone to chat with,
read the newspaper,
drink coffee and gradually let everything go while working.
However, whatever you do over
and over again will quickly become a habit.
the vast majority of employees today have formed the habit
of wasting most of their time on activities
that are not beneficial to their job or career.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Authorize everything possible
Going back to the ABCDE method,
a group D activity is something you can delegate to someone else to do.
The rule of thumb here is
that you should delegate everything you can to someone else
in order to have more time to do Group A activities.
Your Group A activities and their successful implementation are key determinants,
to your entire career.
An E group activity is one you should eliminate altogether.
you can only control your time
when you stop doing unnecessary things.
The fact that people let me fall in safe zones in work
and career are normal and natural.
They gradually become comfortable
with doing activities in a certain way.
Even after being promoted
and taking on higher responsibilities,
they continue to do things
that are no longer absolutely necessary
or that others can do with similar
or even better efficiency.
“What if I skip doing this?”
If it makes only a negligible difference to your job or career,
this is a top choice to get rid of.
Plan your work and act according to the plan
Never do anything that is not on your list.
When a new task or project arises,
add it to the list and prioritize it
before you start working on it.
If you don’t write down new ideas
and activities but simply respond to the constant demands
of your time,
you will quickly lose control
and end up spending most of your time on low-value
or useless activities value.
Any time management system is better than
no time management system at all.
There are many apps on your phone to help you manage your time,
or time management systems
that you can install on your computer.
You can also use a handwritten time management system
that you carry with you and update regularly.
Remember that at work,
the only thing you have in exchange is your time.
Make sure you’re focusing your time on the most valuable
and important things you can do to make the most of your work.
Set goals and focus on completing one goal at a time. —K. Collins
List of things not to do
In addition to a to-do list that acts
as a guide to yourself during a busy day,
you also need a to-do list to keep yourself on track.
These are the things
that you have decided not to do no matter how tempting they are.
As Nancy Reagan once said,
“Say no!”, refuse any activity
that doesn’t help you get the most value out of your time.
“No” is the greatest time saver in the field
of time management.
And once you start using this word,
it will become easier and easier to say it.
Remember that people are the biggest waste of time.
When asked to do something or help them,
“Is this the best way to use my time right now?”
If the answer is no,
you can politely answer:
“Thank you for asking.
Let me think about this and review my calendar.
I’ll get back to you and let you know if I can help.”
You can wait 24 hours and then contact the person
and say that unfortunately you have so much work
and deadlines that you cannot help.
Thank them for asking for your assistance,
and suggest that “maybe next time” you can arrange your time.
Remember that you can only manage your time
if you stop doing low-value tasks.
You won’t be able to fully focus on your current jobs
let alone the new jobs
and responsibilities that arise every day.
So say no sooner and more often.
It won’t be long
before you have complete control over your time.
The question isn’t at what age I want to retire,
it’s at what income. ― George Foreman