Money & Life > Time Management > Organize E-mail And Increase Productivity > Create A To-do List That Actually Works

Create a To-Do List That Actually Works


Organize E-mail and Increase Productivity


Lesson Info

Create a To-Do List That Actually Works

Let's talk about way want to get into two duis and how to actually handle a to do list so again remember in the first segment we were talking about your email inbox and the people and most people have so many e mails because they're using it as a to do list so how do we create a new to do list for ourselves now, to be honest, most people probably have their email inbox using it is it to do list but you probably also have other two duis written and other places so what we want to talk about is a to do list um but the two duis again they're going to exist in your email inbox they might exist on post its they might be there might be paperwork piles lying around that are indicators of two duis you might have male bills to pay those air to dio you've got calendar things those air to do's voice mails, text messages you might have to do is tied up in that so what we want to do when were first starting to create all of this is we want to go to all of those places and literally do like a huge b...

rain dump that could be on a piece of paper it could be in text edit on your computer it could be in a simple word document, but what we want to do is just gather all of these things in one place, so we're not missing anything when we're creating our system that we're going to use so let's talk about what happens to that brain dump and how we get from there to a daily to do list that is going to run our day because I find and this might sound trite, but I find that if you don't plan your day, your day runs you, you just sort of writ the wom of everything that comes at you, and you're not really you don't have a road map to follow, so I really think it's important to have a daily to do list, I actually think you should be planning your two duis kind of by the minute. Um, and I know that sounds insane. It sounds like who are you like, what kind of life is that? But I find it allows for more flexibility. You get more done, which, to be honest, this is all about saving time to do what you want to dio. So with that before we dive into the meaty part of this, I think your daily to do list needs to be realistic. I work with client after client and the to do list is very, very long. So number one that's not realistic and number two the two duis on there are so dense there's so many things tied to that one to do because they're not broken down that there is no way like I don't care how amazing you are a time management the to do list needs to be broken down in bite size pieces that you can actually take care of not only does it make it more realistic, it makes it doable so instead of seeing ah huge project listed it's broken down into the smallest parts um and again we're scheduling these guys out were actually saying, hey, we're going to work on this at this time and remember when we're time journaling a lot more information gets revealed in addition to ah, how long things take you realize you know what? I was checking email and working on that project, but I realized, you know, my my brain power isn't really all there in the morning, so maybe I'm just going to schedule errands and stuff like that in the morning. So I think it's really important to schedule things when you are at your best so let's get out of gmail and I'm going to put it on google keep so google keep is a task management system it's free it's google I love it it's very simple there's lots of them out there um and it's interesting but not surprising merlin man the guy we talked about earlier who is all about inbox zero he actually says that your inbox are not your inbox your to do list shouldn't be that fun because you're going to get caught up in the crossing off and the sort of color coordinating of it all and not the actual doing so just keep that in mind when you're picking out what you're going to use this your to do listen manager it khun b paper but I am going tio utilize um a digital to do list for our purposes um so we've got our two duis all over the place we've created that brain dump document with two duis from posted emails all of that good stuff then we want to start putting all of that stuff into buckets so if you can see this guy so this says work so this is just a category of my task management system and under work I have to do so I have maybe books about work I know not sure why there's nothing coming under workshop ideas but there should be text under there it doesn't really matter but there workshop ideas because I use instagram for business instagram ideas maybe pictures I want to show case so this is again just one of my categories I'm just going to show you a couple more um so maybe personal you guys might have um project's personal projects on here right now I have recipes we have we might be moving next year, so I just have resource is teo sort of remind me about that stuff? Um, I just have plain old personal two duis, so these air again, some buckets, they might come out of that really long to do list that we're going to break down, and then we move over to the daily list so I don't know why the text isn't coming up, but that's okay, so what this is is, um and for some reason, the copies not working, but this would normally say copy, and what I do is each day I take this copy and I make a copy and then I can call this thursday and I already have my times blocked out typically, um, I would have starting at six thirty I get up, I really have that in my calendar, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel every day, so six thirty am getting up working out, and then I basically schedule out my entire day now went on populating this, I'm looking at my personal two duis I'm looking at my work to do is I'm looking at my calendar to populate my daily list, and that way I can make sure that it's realistic, so if I know that it usually takes me fifteen minutes to process my email in the morning I'm going to say from nine thirty to nine forty five I'm going to process e mails so that when I get to my desk in the morning, I can just look at and say ok, these are the things that I'm going to do it this time during the day and what happens is I usually end up finishing beforehand so if I get a phone call or I need to go run a quick errand, I have time to do those things and again you don't have to, um be stuck to this you know, if you want to say hey, I'm going to do that later I'm not really feeling doing that right now the good thing is I can move that and put it in a different time so again it's really customizable and I find that for me this works better than paper just because I can easily copy this to do list and carry it over to the next day in the next day um does anybody have questions about about that? No. Okay, cool um so let's continue and let's bring it back to yes good little there's like an art pad in the person so that's where you can change the color on dh then there's a reminder app I can share my list with someone I can archive it so if I want to come back to it you know I don't have to get rid of it forever. Um and then there's what? What else is here? I can change the label do leave to make a copy archive is this same archive go where the email archive goes no, this is tim. This is just for google keep ok? Yes, but there is an app which you can download for your phone so I can see exactly what's here here so when I'm out and about it's always with me ok so let's take it back tio our keynote and continue so this next thing I'm going to talk about you have to bear with me and trust me you have to go there with may I promise it's amazing. Okay, so the pomodoro technique which already sounds just ridiculous but it was developed by this guy in the nineteen eighties and he was a student and somewhere to jerry seinfeld where he was like I just need something for motivation I need something to help me. So he created this technique called the pomodoro technique and it's based on a tomato timer. So pomodoro is plural for the word tomato, which is why it's called the pomodoro technique is he actually used the tomato timer to do this I use an app but he suggests using the physical timer so we know he developed this technique and it's a time management technique and I'm going to show you the up in a minute but it basically breaks down time and a twenty five minute segments and there followed by a short break, which is five minutes now the reason that they suggest using a an actual tomato timer is because the actual physical act of winding it up it sort of it makes you committed to the task and then the external noise because you'll see in a minute the ticking noise it externalize is sort of the the reason why you're doing it or externalize is sort of just the process of hand and then the ding, which that also has it just sort of signifies the break that you're supposed to take uhm so the way that you do this is so so you're going on your to do list and you're like, ok, I'm going to do this task and it may take only five minutes so you might have a couple of tasks that you need toe decide that you're going to do or you might have one task you may be working on a project it's going to take a long time, but I'm just going to work on it for twenty five minutes so the first thing you do is you decide on the test that you're going to d'oh the second thing is you set the timer so whether it be a physical time or whether it be the app you're going to go ahead and set that and then you do the work um so what that does is when you're working the ticking it really makes you honest it's almost like someone sitting over your shoulder and the instant you're like, I need to go the bathroom or I need to check instagram or you need to check email it reminds you know I'm not doing that right now I'm actually working on the task in hand so it's it helps with labeling what you're actually doing so it's just going to bring you back to your project and I know it sounds insane but really works so crazy so and then you actually do the task and then you take a break and then you start it all over said they suggest doing for twenty five minute pomodoro or palm adoree and then it's followed by a longer break and in that five minutes after each one you can do whatever you want I can get him to go the bathroom you could check instagram and then you start all over again so let me show you guys what this sounds like let's bring it back to the computer and we so this app is called two mighty because what else would you call a nap? Called the pomodoro technique that represents tomatoes eso you it's really simple and this is free so it's a free ab so I've decided on my task and I'm just going to give you this now I know I already told you had to bear with me because sounds insane, but I promise you you're sitting there you like, you know it's there, but it doesn't distract you from working it's the craziest thing and so say I'm working, I'm working and then I'm like, oh my god, this work is really hard I don't really want to focus you're like, wait, no, I'm not I can't do that I'm working on my project and you know, it breaks coming, so you're like, I'm going to get rewarded if I finish this and if I do foreign a day, I can see that and it just sort of built a momentum it keeps you honest, it also helps with realizing how long things take. So say you do eight of these in a day when you can look back at your day and see what you got done, so that can really translate going forward into how long things actually take in addition to our time journaling so I'm going to say it, pause or quit, but anyhow on here you khun dio this's the short break so it's, even it's a little bit quieter, but that's five minutes you can take the longer break, which is twenty to twenty or twenty five to thirty minutes on dh then you can quit, and I know you're really fascinated about this guy. Now there hasn't entire website devoted to this is simple as a technique is it is there's a lot of text supporting this and people really once I find out about it really love it, it's very similar to time matching, and people have just really caught on, and it really helps a lot of people out. Um, do you guys think you might try that way to keep say you do this commenter, is there a way to keep track of the things that you did? Would you do the palme d'or on and write it in your your daily journal? Or would you write in your daily journal and then do the you too may be both you could also just so you've got your daily list and then you're checking things off is you go say, you know, you're sort of you're the daily list is your running sort of math used to road about? So you're saying, ok, it's going take me twenty five minutes to do these three things you do the palm adore palm, adoree and then you check them off because you did them, and then that to do list what you can archive that so you could have that as a reference of what you got done, and you can also make a note saying, hey, I did this many today and look at that list. So going forward, you khun sort of recreate that realistically, yes, I do, we're going home, and I'm like painting furniture, but then I need to look at a reference, and then I looked at the reference, but I'm like I can't work unless I get clean the dishes like it it's a really bad cycle, and I feel like I spent all my time at the kitchen sink, right, which is one is really helps with I'm not doing the dishes right now, I'm doing this right now, so I think it helps you stay on that task because I think our mind has a tendency to sort of go all over and like we talked about at the beginning, you know, our brains work that way, we have to really protect it because we do want to just be busy doing the distracting stuff it you know that stuff makes us feel accomplish because we can get it done but I think this really helps with keeping you focused and then the reward is looking at the end of the day and I got all this stuff done and that sort of motivates us to go forward and to keep doing it and it does take time I mean I think that the more you do it the curtain you know the results get greater and it takes practice yeah but to see I guess to see to map out the visual pictures of you are aware and you said to use the stars when you're doing your during that represented the instagram exactly in that yes for me and you could come with a totally different that it having to write it all down yeah it's just a little exactly is just like a little symbol like knowing hey I got distracted right here on dh then the other thing the timer that I use accounts like how many you do in a day see at the end of the day you can see how many you did there are lots of different pomodoro timers and aps some have more bells and whistles than others so you can also look at those and that might have more of a note taking there might be others with more note taking features if you wanted to really take inventory of all that so, anyhow, I know it. It sounds insane. That's, really awesome.

Class Description

Email can quickly overwhelm a workday and prevent you from getting actual work done – but you don’t have to let it control you! Organize Email and Increase Productivity with Beth Penn, you’ll learn how to manage everything that comes through your inbox so you can focus on what’s important.

In this class, Beth will share her best tips for setting up a system to manage your inbox in an on-going way. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the best time to respond, defer, archive and delete emails
  • Set up rules and organizational systems for Gmail and Apple Mail
  • Achieve the elusive Inbox Zero

You’ll learn about a whole range of productivity tools that will minimize the amount of time you waste checking emails while staying sane and organized. You’ll get more time back in your day to focus on your business.

If you want to spend more time focusing on what really matters, don’t miss Beth Penn’s class Organize Email and Increase Productivity.