and other ramblings of a small business owner
Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management is a massively inspiring book for someone who’s addicted to time management (that’s me by the way). It sets out a time management technique which is very quick to implement and genuinely gives you hope that you can get on top of things.
The ‘Do It Tomorrow’ technique allows you to keep control over your to-do list (or as Mark Forster names it your ‘will-do list’) for each day by creating a closed list for the day (i.e. once you’ve made the list you can’t add anything more to it) and putting anything new that comes in into a pile to be dealt with tomorrow. The idea is that every day you have a day’s worth of work to do and will absolutely do it.
If, however, try you find that you’re consistently not getting through your will-do list each day then that is an indication that you have more coming in than you can deal with. In that case you need to look at your systems and decide how to deal with it.
One of the things I particularly like about the system is that Forster asserts that you don’t need to prioritise – it doesn’t matter what order you work through your list in as everything will get done. I like this because I always start struggling when I try to prioritise. Everything seems important to me so everything vies for a spot at the top of the list. Using Do It Tomorrow I can do away with that and concentrate on getting things done.
Even if doing it tomorrow doesn’t appeal to you the book is definitely worth a read because it is full of excellent time management advice, including how to persuade yourself to make progress on the tasks that you are particularly resisting. The only thing that I didn’t like about the book Forster’s recommended filing system, which quite frankly gave me the fear – as someone with a very organised mind this is something that I really couldn’t cope with (have a read and let me know what you think!).
I’ve now been applying the Do It Tomorrow system for a week. My backlog is gradually diminishing and I’m just about keeping on top of my will-do list. I’m finding the system very motivating and can see that I’m going to have to address the amount of time I spend each day answering emails rather than getting some of the meatier tasks done. I know, I’ll create an action for tomorrow’s list to brainstorm some ideas about how to tackle that!
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