The Matters Most List
Chris reflects on his recent difficulty with getting his work done, and concludes that to-do lists don’t work.
A To-do list is basically a collection of things you “could” do in a day. That’s all well and good, but truly, is it what you need? You could fill to-do lists until the end of time, if you think about it. Anything is fair game on a to-do list.
He advocates a different type of list in its place … a Matters Most List … and gives five recommendations for making one. Others who write and think about personal productivity have called this a “long-term to do list”. Same idea, but you need one! I’ve added the creation of one to my to-do list.
Plug the Information Leaks in your Workflow
Liz shares some thoughts about how to handle data points that do not fit neatly into workflow tracking and collaboration systems.
Like clutter in an unorganized room, the information has no official place to go – no “container”- which makes it hard to immediately categorize and figure out what to do with it. Another problem is that the person who receives the information is often not the person who technically handles that particular aspect of the business.
Her suggestions for plugging the leaks include (1) write down phone messages and put those notes in a consistent place; (2) immediately do a task if it is important; (3) date the notes you take and review them daily; (4) follow up; (5) find a way to organize your email and stick with it; and (6) find somewhere to park information about upcoming projects.
Increase Meeting Value
A good summary of how to make meetings effective:
- Write an agenda in advance, distribute it, and keep to it.
- Start on time.
- Begin by focusing on the desired outcome of the meeting … define what “wild success” looks like.
- Turn off all those electronic devices that will introduce distraction and interruption.
- Nominate a scribe to make note of questions, action items, follow-up items, and assignments.
- Review team and personal notes after the meeting. If you forget what you’ve agreed to do, the time has been wasted.