There are ways to organize our time and efforts on key project priorities and--as a result--get things done.
1. View each day as another opportunity to get back on track or achieve more. Erase the shortcomings of yesterday and plan realistically for tomorrow.
2. Accept that you can only handle so much in one day. Achieve your ultimate best by estimating how much and the type of work you can handle.
3. Try to only take on assignments or project tasks that you know you can finish and be realistic when estimating your ability to do a given task within the committed period of time. Your goal is to under-promise, but never to under-deliver.
4. Focus on delivering your tasks with highest quality and before the deadline. Approach each project task or activity as if you were to be audited.
With these principles in mind, try the following system--and implement it now, not later:
1. Clear Your Inbox
• Process all e-mails in your inbox and listen to voicemails today, instead of putting them off for tomorrow.2. Create and Maintain a One-Page To-Do List
• Create tasks from e-mails and then archive, rather than keeping them in your inbox. These tasks can be prioritized by date. Link them to a specific project or project tasks. Anything not relating to your current project should be either delegated or redirected to other resources.
• Choose a system that will be your central depository of all of your "to-do's". It can be via e-mail, notebook or a stack of sticky notes, whatever works for you.3. Set Your Number One Goal for Tomorrow
• List all of your tasks, prioritized by either the due date, importance or ease of completion. Anything that must be attended to that week must be on this one-page list. If you're putting on more than that, you simply won't achieve it. Anything else goes to next week's list or on a "later" list.
• This is the one thing you will complete or will considerably contribute to. It's your highest priority.
• Go ahead and set aside an appropriate chunk of time for the next day when you will focus specifically on this task.
Any tasks and meetings that aren't contributing to the project you are involved in or the items above should be cleared from your schedule. Avoid noise and time-wasters and you'll get things done.