This summer, I trained myself not only to make a list of things to do but also to follow thru on their getting done in the time frame I'd specified. I've tried way too many methods and tools over the years. For the first time, it worked!
You know how it feels so great to cross something off your list, and sometimes you'll even go back and retroactively add something you already did JUST so you can cross it off? Well, I sort of honed in on The Power of this single, little action - crossing off, checking off - whatever you wanna call it. In order to get myself to keep up with my list, I had to have a way to be able to create it and access it (quickly), keep it organized and updated (quickly), set deadlines (quickly) and be able to cross items off and move on (quickly). The magic tool was Microsoft Outlook To-Do Lists / Tasks. What a gem!
My only lament is that I didn't delve into it sooner!! I could have done more! My older brother, who pretty much wrote Outlook and met with Bill Gates on a regular basis back in the day, will probably give me a big, "No $hit," on this revelation. Sorry about that DRG!
This little stamp isn't for those tasks specifically, but it does help me to manage-at-a-glance another part of my business. Tapping into The Power.
This feeling of empowerment from crossing things of a list reminds me of a case study we reviewed in a Marketing class in college. The case study examined why Raid's roach motels weren't initially a success with women. The company thought they'd be a hit b/c women didn't have to get their hands dirty with the spray, they didn't have to see the bug dying (b/c women are so sensitive...) - and it was more convenient for women's busy schedules. When sales weren't as they had forecasted, they conducted qualitative interviews. The conversations revealed that women personified the bugs and equated the roaches with men who had scorned them... and they liked the power of holding that can of Raid and spraying the living daylights out of the bugs. Squirming only made the experience better. I can't relate to this too much myself in the realm of bugs and scorn, but I can understand The Power underlying their feelings.
What's your secret weapon for staying on top of your to-do list?