How to really get things done on a hectic day

It’s going to be a hectic day. You know that as soon as you wake up. You know the top things you need to complete. You’re all set to start. You approach your workstation – and see some new stuff on your desk. Notes on a proposal draft, request to interview a potential job candidate, a document to review <fill in the blanks>….

Now what?

When that happened to me,  I normally did this:

  • I talk to my boss & share my to-do list with her.
  • We have a quick chat on rearranging priorities
  • We decide on a work-in-progress review later in the day.

Then, we go about our day with a clearer picture of what we need to get done. At the same time, we are open to any changes that may come our way.

Some of my friends tell me this – “I always end up getting my to-do list mucked up by changes!”  or “I can’t show my boss the list! He doesn’t see it the same way I do!”  Those who don’t use to-do lists on hectic days (I’m flexible – I don’t need it everyday) just give me a sheepish grin.

Wouldn’t you love a to-do list that helps you do these?

  • focus on the top tasks
  • make time for emergencies that may need your attention
  • fill in your project timesheets better AND faster? (for billable project work, of course)
  • stay cool throughout the day (!)
  • make your coffee (just checking hehe)

I wanted those things too. That’s why when I saw Dave Seah’s Emergent Task Planner (ETP) I almost wept with joy.

I finally had a to-do list that I can share with the people I work with. I could leave my ETP on my desk & my boss & colleagues could see how my day was going. This is very useful for lean teams that don’t have time for many management meetings. For me, it helped me answer “What are you working on today?” in a visual & non-grumpy way.

I do recommend you check out the ETP. On days that you need to block out everything else, this is one productivity tool that can free you so that you can get your stuff done.

You can download the ETP from Dave’s site here. If you’ve discovered a cooler way to use the planner, do come back and tell me about it. Or tell Dave on Twitter – he tweets at @daveseah.

Enjoy!

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