I learned to write down TTDs from my first manager, 20 years back; a very progressive woman, she would instruct us to jot down the things to do for the day on a little notepad (this was before Post-Its and digital diaries and mobiles penetrated the office spaces) and would go a step further – at the end of work day, she would ask us to show her the list and explain what tasks were incomplete and also how we had gone about completing the rest.
After that brief interaction, separately with each individual, she would then advise the manner in which the incomplete work ought to be prioritized for the following day, adding, in a cautionary tone, ‘Tomorrow will bring a fresh list of To-Dos and you don’t have more than a page to write on, so better to finish with it first thing in the morning.’ Great advice I got, early in my career.
Three things to learn from this simple routine:
-Work gets planned (nothing is overlooked or forgotten)
-One learns to prioritise with ease
-A deadline-orientation sets in, improving efficiency
Never fail to write down (or type in) Things To Do for today. Tick the completed tasks and, carry over unfinished work to the next day and only the next day! (Needless to say, but I would rank this the best manager I have had in my corporate career).