to do list

Getting your to-do list done

Impact’s Becky Foxen and the wider Programme Managers team share their top tips on how to get things ticked off your to do list.

If you can do it now - do it now! 
If you get a request to do something that you can action immediately, feel the satisfaction of getting it done straight away. Getting small, quick fire results is a great motivation for tackling bigger tasks.
 
When you have fully actioned an email, file it and take it out of your inbox
An overcrowded inbox often means an overcrowded mind. You will be much more efficient if you don't have to search through hundreds of emails to find the one you want.
 
Utilise the technology at your fingertips
Put important dates into your calendar with reminders and use programme management tools to assign tasks and responsibilities to your team. It's impossible to remember everything and why should you, when technology can do it for you? 
 
Review your 'to do list' at the end of each day
This gives you the opportunity to 'empty' your mind, so that when you leave work, you can relax and know that you have accounted for all your upcoming tasks and responsibilities. It's a great feeling to arrive in the office each morning with a clear idea of what you need to do in the day ahead.
 
Stick to your deadlines
And be ahead of them if possible. When deadlines are set for you and your team (internally or client driven), ensure that everyone is aligned and working to the same date. Being ahead of your deadlines allows time for checking and improving (and impressing your client!)
 
Don't be ruled by your to do list!
Having a to do list doesn't mean you are confined to the tasks on your list. If you have a clear idea of your upcoming responsibilities you can be more flexible with your time without the fear that you have forgotten to do something - the list will be there to remind you of what needs to be done when you return to it.
 
Be realistic
There is nothing more demotivating than only ticking a few things off a lengthy to-do list – but remember you are only one person! Be realistic with what you can achieve in a day. Adopt a prudent approach when prioritising the day’s tasks - take into account how long each piece of work will take, and always account for interruptions! Setting realistic expectations curtails disappointment when reviewing that list before you leave.