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Leadership

Posts tagged be organized
Always work from a list.

This might be one of the more obvious rules to follow as most of us already use some kind of self-organization, task management or to-do list approach.

Or at least we should do that, surprisingly few people stick to it however, trying new ways of organizing themselves and losing sight of the goal by trying out dozens of new task, project, to-do management Apps before they realize that they probably should put finding the right tools for self-organization on their to-do list.

But if you already found your way of organizing yourself and it works for you just keep on doing it – but if you have trouble getting things done, you find yourself keep putting stuff off or just plain forget about it then make sure that from now on you work from a list.

A list is helpful in prioritizing your work. It can help you to identify that most annoying thing you have to do first thing in the morning and it will help you identify that other thing – the most important item on your task list for your manager.

It will also help you to focus throughout the day. You have to handle many disruptions every day and the list helps to keep your head free to deal with these minor or mayor disruptions without losing focus.

So how do you organize your list?

This is up to you. But make sure you do not start to make this a complicated method of collecting everything you ever wanted to do. Focus on the day ahead of you – sit down in the morning and make the list. Do not start some elaborate task management system with days, weeks, months and years – this will only bog you down and frustrate you because there is still so much to do and lets face it in your job all these tasks change continuously anyway.

Focus on this day – create your list in a simple way. If you want to use your smartphone for this – fine, as long as the App gets out of your way and makes it easy to work with the list. The only thing you actually have to do with the list is adding items during the day and checking items off as completed. I prefer to use a simple sheet of paper for this as it is the fastest and easiest way to manage my list.

(this is an excerpt from my book “Rise to the top!” - if you want to read more on how to be organized and become a great manager and leader in your organization please get my book)

Do that other thing

So you have finished that most annoying thing. Good for you! Now do that other thing. 

What is the other thing?

Very simple, this is the one other task on your task list (see also: “Always work from a list”) that if done immediately helps your manager the most.

Not yourself – at least not directly - but your manager!

It is important to identify this task as it helps you to achieve many things:

1. Your manager will see you as someone who prioritizes correctly (at least from his point of view).

2. Your manager sees you as someone who supports him in getting projects done quickly and efficiently. He will recognize that you can perform without much supervision, constant reminding or those awkward moments of: “Did you ever get around to …”

3. You will also establish yourself as your manager‘s “Go-to guy”.  This is important as you will over time receive the most important projects from him or her as their goal is to get things done (Remember your managers’ are also just looking to be efficient).

4. You gain trust from your manager, which will be beneficial to you many times not only in your direct relationship with each other, but also when he or she or yourself move on to other things.

Now you have finished your most annoying task (that feels good, doesn’t it?) and you have completed the most important task for your manager (so he also feels good as he has gotten important work done as well).  

This is the best start of any work day, everything else will be easy (and on top of that you just motivated yourself!).