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How To Make A Do-Able To-Do List

Nov 3, 2007
Have you ever made a to-do list and because there were so many items on the list you just couldn't figure where to start so you hid it away in a drawer and decided that your old muddled way was best after all?

Have you ever made a list, started on the first item on your list only to find discover half way through the project that you didn't have every thing you needed to complete it successfully? Or that the project you thought was urgent turned out not to be that urgent and something else was very urgent?

So how do you make a Do-able To-Do list? Where do you start and how can you tell which is the most urgent item? Well if you follow this method you will have no trouble knowing where to start and what is your most urgent item.

Now list making takes time and mental energy. Mental energy can affect you physically so before you start writing your list make yourself comfortable and give yourself time. (You should allow yourself at least one hour to make your list when you are new to this method. With practice you will be able to cut down the time.)

The first step is to get yourself a large pad of paper a ballpoint pen and 3 colored markers. Doesn't matter what color they are but they must be different. Now take your pad and write down everything and I mean everything you have to/need to/ want to/would like to do.

Now study your list and decide which are the most urgent and important items. Take one of your markers and write 'A' alongside those items. Study your list again and this time decide which items are important but not urgent. Take another one of your markers and write 'B' alongside these items. Finally take your third marker and mark everything else on your list 'C'. If you have thought carefully about your list you will know that these items are not important or urgent.

Next take a new sheet of paper and write down all the items you marked with an 'A'.

Now go down through the list and decide which is the most urgent and important item. When you are sure take your pen and number that item (1). Now decide which is the next most urgent and important item and number that item (2). Go through each item until you have numbered them all. This is your 'A' list and every item on it is urgent and important.

So which project do you start first? To find the answer to this question you need to go back to the item numbered (1) and ask your self "do I have everything I need to start this project and bring it to a successful conclusion?" If your answer is "yes" that's where you start! If your answer is "no" keep going down your list until you can answer "yes".

Once you start on that project try and forget everything else until you have completed it. Because despite what some people say we really can only do one thing successfully at a time. The important thing is knowing which to-do thing to do.
About the Author
David Allen spent most of his life being too busy to really "think". But He became a real "thinker" when taking time out to recover from a heart-attack. He now helps people to ''think'' with his system. You can get his FREE 5day email course here http://www.samsmiles-selfhelp.com
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