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The Secret of Successful To-Do Lists [Video and Free Template]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

In this post, we’re going to talk about your “To-Do List.” Unlike a lot of other people I like to plan things out in weekly blocks instead of daily blocks. This allows me the flexibility to concentrate on the important things instead of being stuck in a day-to-day grind where all I do is work.

To give you an understanding of how I structure my week, take a look at this video which reviews my To-Do List:

Weekly To-Do List Template

Here a few key points and extras for this video:

  • I separate personal and business tasks
  • Each task is 45 minutes in length. I do about 45-50 tasks a week which comes out to 33-37 hours of uninterrupted blocks of effort.
  • My business is separated into three major categories (affiliate marketing, information product and my new blog—Steve Scott Site.)

I’m not really sure if you’re using to-do lists in your professional and personal life. If you don’t, I highly recommend you start using them. My productivity skyrocketed once I implemented this tool. It’s definitely helped me concentrate on the important things and make sure I stay on course with what I have to get done during a week.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 15 comments }

Paul

Steve,

I’m fairly organised but not as much as you. I tend to work on a daily basis. Having seen your list I think I’ll take a closer look at how it may help me. The ideas looks more effective by looking at the week as a whole.

Where does the number of tasks come from? Is that from experience or a stab in the dark?

Thank you for sharing.

Regards

Paul

Ralph

Steve,
I have been fussing a lot lately about getting myself organized. I am usually fine about getting to do lists done on a daily basis but the problem is to make sure that I take care or the important but not urgent things that will take me forward into new areas. I have tried to think about ways to use longer time frames but not with much success. The weekly plan is very appealing and the idea of 45 minute blocks is very powerful. Apparently you set this up in a spreadsheet and then work on a printed copy during the week. I have been hung up about finding a computer tool to do this that might be accessible on my computer and my phone. I am making it way too complicated. Thanks.

Ralph

The template works fine in OpenOffice calc for cheapies like me that won’t pay for Microsoft products.

TheInfoPreneur

Excellent stuff man, I know Ralph has already taken this on board fantastic advice brother

Steve Scott

@Ralph- Yes, I’ve found that the weekly plan seems to work best for me. It seems like everything I do is important, but not urgent. So I make sure I spend most of my time doing stuff that’s focused on long-term benefits. Also thanks for the info on that free software. I knew there was a freebie version, just couldn’t think of the name. Hope you find this useful in your won business.
.
@Paul- I wouldn’t say I’m particularly organized. I just know that my natural inclination is towards laziness so this has been way to make sure I stay on course and get the things I need to get done each week.

The number of tasks is kind of arbitrary. Some weeks its 30 others it’s 60. For me it depends on how much I know I can get done that week. If there’s nothing going on, I’ll really buckle down and get stuff done. But if I feel like goofing off and doing fun things, I’ll plan a light week.

@James- Thanks James…heading over to Ralph’s site now… Also liked your video. It definitely some great information in it. Will be sure to comment when I get more time tomorrow night.

Michelle

I’m a bit late to the party with this one – but this is great. I thought I was one of the only ones that uses a weekly plan and chunks of time. I do things a little differently, but I really like the idea that each “task” has a set time amount. It makes things a lot simpler!

Steve Scott

@Michelle- Yeah it took me awhile to figure this one out. The one thing I’m working with is trying to set goals with each task. That way, it’ll increase the speed that I can finish each task.

Maria

I’m not a very organized person, I seem to work better doingthings randomly. I do write down a list of things to do for the next day so I know where I am at and who I have to contact.

Maybe its time to get organized and have a think about your method Steve.

Jimi Jones

Good system for staying organized and having the ability to see the entire week at a glance.
I use something similar but I only forecast out 3 days, breaking a 6 day week in half, and leaving the 2nd half with some flexibility for the unforeseen. But it’s all about what works best for the individual. I like your weekly layout and you seem to have it down to a science.

Good deal, man.

Mick Morris

It’s great to see another different approach to time/task management.

Steve Scott

@Maria- I’m actually starting to do what you just mentioned. I have my weekly to do list, then the night before I create a mini-schedule that I’ll tackle the next day. Seems to be working pretty well.

@Jimi- That’s a good idea. I do try to be flexible. There are some tasks that I know don’t take a whole 45 minutes, so I use the extra time as a “floater” where I can work on something that pops up during the week.

@Mick- Thanks. I’m sure in a year, I’ll have a completely different system. But it seems to work now.

Eleanor Howe

Hi Steve! Thanks for this download – I will give it a try and let you know how it works out for me.

Steve Scott

Great! When I get back from my travels… I’ll probably have a new version which helps me manage my life a little bit better. Will keep you posted on this one…

Murlu

Steve this is really awesome – I currently use a combination of a weekly planner, dry erase board and sticky notes but this should really accelerate it; especially since I’m going to be working on a ton of things all at once now.

Love your old school approach to some thing – everyone wants to over complicate their processes but you keep it at a ground level.

Steve Scott

Murray,

I forget if I mentioned it or not in that post, but yeah, a whiteboard or dry erase is a awesome tool. Setting one up again is one of those things I have really missed from my travels

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