To Do or Not To Do

Ah, the to-do list.  Some people hate them, some people swear by them.  As a Professional Organizer who teaches time management skills, I’ve seen my share of non-effective to-do lists.

Here are some guidelines for creating and following a manageable to-do list.

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Write It Down

One of the worst feelings in the world occurs when you suddenly realize that you forgot to do something that you promised somebody you would do.   It’s even worse when it’s the other person doing the reminding.

How can you prevent commitments from slipping through the cracks?   A great start is to write everything down.

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Practicing What I Preach

As a Professional Organizer, I live the advice that I give my clients.  I regularly donate unworn clothes and unused items; I efficiently process incoming e-mail and paper; I manage my time using an effective to-do list.

But even I’m not perfect.

That’s why I found it so satisfying last week to tackle something that had been nagging at me for a while — something that was violating TWO of my six basic organizing principles.

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Secrets of an Empty Inbox

I did it on Friday night, and again on Saturday morning. I even did it again on Sunday!
What did I do? I got my inbox down to zero.

Yes, that’s right, zero e-mails in my inbox. And you can do it too! Here are my secrets.

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The Skinny On Time Management

When I tell people about my organizing specialties, their eyes widen when I mention Time Management.  Everyone feels like there is too much to do and not enough time.  Clients who hire me to help clear up clutter often ask me to come back for an extra session to work on time management.  Many have said that our 90-minute time management session changed their lives.

There are a lot of books out there on managing time, but let’s face it — it you are already feeling overwhelmed, are you really going to read a 300-page book on time management?

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