In my life and career, I’m a bit of an addict to organizational systems. However, I never stick to the same one for very long. It depends on the week and the task list which way I’ll decide to organize myself. This week, though, facilitates one of my favorite types of organization.
If you’re going to employ this system, it has to be during a week where you’re in the office most of the time with not a lot of meetings or interruption but lots to do. This week is perfect for this because my parents are traveling here tomorrow. I know I’m going to be in and out of the office a lot of the week to spend time with them, but when I am in my office, I’m “free” – I don’t have inter-office meetings, etc.
So what I did on Friday was this:
- Sit down with your entire task list in front of you. Highlight everything on the task list you need to get done next week.
- Print out your calendar in 5-day format so you can see every hour of the day.
- Determine how long it will take you to accomplish each of the items on your list – i.e. Follow-up with corporation one: 15 minutes
- Transfer tasks onto your calendar based on the amount of time it takes to get them done.
Yes, that’s right people. I’ve scheduled every hour of every day this week. It’s the only way I’m going to get through everything I need to and still be able to dodge out on Wednesday and Friday afternoons to spend time with my family.
So, for example, from 9-10:30am this morning I scheduled “Follow-up.” On my to-do list I had 10ish phone calls to make and about 5 follow-up emails to send (on top of my Inbox responding, which I generally do in the evenings). I finished this task at about 10:15, which gave me just enough time to pop in here and drop a few lines in a blog before moving on to my 10:30-11:30 task creating an event timeline and handouts for a meeting next week.
Feels good to keep crossing things off a list. And though this organization system only works at certain times for certain people – this week, it works for me.