Make one year, three year, and five-year goals.
– Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D, RN, FNP, FAAN
The New Year is almost upon us; this means it’s time to start out new and fresh and make some New Year’s resolutions. One resolution that many people make is to get organized – to minimize the chaos in their work lives. In this episode, I’ll walk you through how I think about time and how you could apply it to managing your master, weekly, and daily to-do lists (all while making it fun)!
Steps To Getting Organized: Managing Your To-Do List
When I was a doctoral student, I had to create professional development plans for several fellowships. This is a good idea because it helps you to get your thoughts organized by academic year. If you are also an academic or student, you have to create a plan and usually by semesters for the academic year: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer. Or, if you are in the business world, you might think of time in quarters for business planning.
- Annual + Semester Planning. Make one year, three years, and five-year goals and map out steps needed to get there. You will need to plan out the goals that you want to achieve on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly time frame – but also plan out the activities that you need to do. Be thinking ahead about the things you need to be doing a year in advance so that you’re ready when it’s time to start the work to meet that goal.
- Create a Master To-Do List. I organize my Master To-Do List by project and category – as an academic, we have three main areas for our work: Research/ Scholarship, Teaching and Service. I track each project and all the different tasks that I need to complete with the due dates on this Master Plan.
- I’ve tried both electronic-based and paper-based organizers. Ultimately, I’ve ended up using a hybrid model. My electronic calendar keeps up with my meetings and schedule but I like to use paper to track my To Do List. The act of writing things down helps me to remember what projects I have going on for any given semester.
- Weekly To-Do List. Usually, at the beginning of the week, I will create a Weekly To-Do list. This list will include all of my meetings (for work) but will also include any errands (for home). I like to reference my calendar for weekly meetings.
- Daily To-Do List + Incoming. It’s so important to keep track of what you need to do each day as well. In the Daily To-Do list, I add my top 3 priorities for the day and also write down any New Tasks as they come in. I love to use sticky notes for the Daily To-Do lists.
- Keep it Fun: Creativity in Aging. #NerdAlert!! I am a HUGE fan of school supplies (pens, pencils, post-its, etc). Use whatever makes it fun for you whether that be color-coded paper or pens.
If you have any tips or tricks that you’d like to share about how you manage your To-Do list or how you get things done again, drop them into the comment box below the YouTube video or send me a message: https://melissabphd.com/contact/. If you enjoyed this episode, please let me know, and maybe I will do more podcasts on How to Get Organized and manage your time to increase productivity!