Do you have a big long list of everything you need to do? Worse still, is that to-do list your email Inbox? Even worse still again, is that list in your head?
In the book Getting Things Done, David Allen says "your brain is not a filing cabinet," but that's kind of what we try to do, isn't it? So many thoughts and ideas and tasks rattling around in our head. There's no way we can possibly remember it all.
What we end up within our head is a virtual mountain of old-school brown manila folders piled up on the side of our desk, and that is too overwhelming.
If your To-Do list is in your head, or on multiple sticky notes, scraps of paper, whiteboards, and notebooks, I suggest you gather them all up and create a Master To-Do List. This is one place where everything is captured.
I use Trello, but it doesn't matter what you use, so long as it's one place to capture everything. I like Trello because it has a phone app and widget which means that I can quickly add a new card/to-do no matter where or when the thought comes to me.
Getting thoughts out of our head means we can close that tab, for now, confident that it won't be forgotten because it's captured.
It can be helpful to assign an estimated time to the to-do item as well so that you're not just looking at a sea of tasks. The reality is that each task is not like every other. they take different time and resources. Adding an estimated time means that you can more easily prioritise and schedule.
I have a label for Quick Wins which are tasks that take under 10 minutes. Sometimes you can batch all the Quick Wins and tick off a bunch in an hour, or sometimes it's a Quick Win when you've only got 15 minutes.
Do you have a system that works for you? This week we're going to be talking about productivity in The Business of Bookkeeping Facebook group. I'd love to hear what works for you. Come join the conversation.
Have an amazingly productive week, fellow bookkeeper.
PS: I have a couple of slots available in my coaching group From Bookkeeper to Business Owner. This is small group coaching along with a monthly one-to-one where you get the resources, support, and accountability that you need to grow your bookkeeping business. You won't get lost in a sea of bookkeepers or delegated to other coaches. You get me.