A month of redoing my to-do list

I have been using a to-do list for a long time. But, when you’re not getting those important things done, you have to revisit your productivity tools. So January 2019 is my month to revamp my to-do list as a tool and to make it work for me. After all, this blog is all about being the architect of your dreams. So, here’s to architecting my to-do list to move me forward on key projects.

Here’s what you can expect from me. My to-do list for every day starting from today, my reflection on the list, and how I will improve it.

My list today was:

  1. 9.30 am – Timetable meeting.
  2. 1 hr research after lunch.
  3. Print Racine’s chapter 1 and 2 to review.
  4. Email Graham to shift oral exam.
  5. Print ECM docs for meeting tomorrow.
  6. Watch 3 videos and read 1 document for my Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (CUTL) programme.

Here’s what got done: the timetable meeting, the printing, and the videos and reading for my CUTL programme. Just three things.

I had several problems with this list. Firstly, I had written it on the previous day’s daily pages. So it was not on my radar for the entire day. Secondly, the damn timetable meeting ran longer because the person before me did not have his documents ready. Thirdly, I met a long ago friend and was so happy to see her that I decided to forgo items on my list and speak with her. The only reason I got to even print the documents was because of the 30 minutes before the timetable meeting after I got in to work at 9 am. I knew I couldn’t do my high performance work for my CUTL programme or research work in that 30 minutes time frame. The CUTL work got done because I am beyond my deadline and I got temporarily out of the programme. I have until January 27 now but need to submit outstanding assignments as soon as possible. Something always comes up. This week alone I have had three new meetings thrown on me.

Fourthly, I went into my inbox to send the email but could not because it was full. I spent close to one hour deleting and archiving emails. I acted on one email which had information I was waiting on. That took about half hour. I still did not send the one email I had to send. I had to leave when my husband arrived for me. I could have asked my husband to wait on me so that I could send the email but I have done this too many times already. In this new year I am trying to value his time too.

I have to change my to do list in several ways but I will make one change at a time. My first change here is to ensure I write out my to do list on the correct daily pages. I use a notebook but do not make out my daily pages until the next morning. Tonight I will make out the pages and write in my to do list for tomorrow. I will address the other issues tomorrow cause I’m off to set up my pages.

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