I use a simple method of task management that was taught to me by a multi-millionaire last year:
I grab a piece of paper out of the printer and I write the date in the top-left corner. At the beginning of each day before I check email or do anything else, I write down what I would like to accomplish. As I accomplish those tasks, I cross them off.
If the day ends and I haven’t completed a task, I write an arrow to the left of it.
When the next day begins, I write a new date, carry over the tasks I didn’t complete, and write down my new tasks. I repeat that same process for the next day. If ever decide not to do a task, I simply write an ‘x’ next to it.
When the paper has three days on it, I flip it over and begin again on the other side. When the other side is full, I scan it and look for any ‘x’-ed items and decide if I want to do that eventually or forget about it completely. If it’s something I am interested in doing eventually, I’ll write in on my google doc where I store long-term ideas. I review that doc whenever the mood strikes.
Why do I do this on paper when we have such wonderful technological tools for managing our to-do lists online? (Here are a couple if you’re interested: Remember the Milk, Ta Da List, Toodledo, Voo2do, Blablalist, Tu Du Lists…and the list goes on and on and on…) Because it’s easier to do it on paper. My list sits on my desk to my left, beneath my second monitor. I have a pen nearby. I don’t need to log in, I don’t need to switch to a new browser window, and it’s nice to not have to type.
Keep Coming Back to the List
The key is to keep going back to your list. You’ve made your priorities — now stick to them! Don’t allow distractions to squash your productivity. Being online is an invitation to ineffectively multitask until you look back and realize you haven’t done anything of significance for three days. This is even more dangerous when you actually begin working online full-time. (Especially if you do it the Prosperly Way, since you won’t have that many incremental things to do in the first place!)
I’ve been using this method with great success for quite a while. Hopefully it helps a reader or two out.