Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Need For To-Do Lists In The Time Management System for Avon Representatives

This is the 6th post in this series on my Time Management System for Avon Representatives. Today, I will introduce a fundamental tool of time management, the to-do list.

The “To-Do” list is not just for list making junkies. You may already make a Avon Representative “To-Do” list. But if you don’t, you need to. To-do lists are one of the fundamental keys to my Time Management System for Avon Representatives. When you write down what you have to do each day, you in effect brand them into your mind. And you are unlikely to forget each item.

If you are only using only one list, you may have found that some items do not fit into your list. Some tasks may not need to be done right away. Or a big project needs its own list where it can be broken down into smaller steps.

I am suggesting in the Time Management System for Avon Representatives that it is worth the time to work with several lists.

The advantages of doing a to-do lists

Items do not get lost.

Every task is prioritized.

You should have an ideal of what to do next.

You have somewhere to write new tasks as they arise.

How to Use a List

First you must commit to making a to-do list every night for the next day. Try to put items on a list in some kind of order (by time in which you will do it or categorize by similarities).

Then prioritize them by numbering the them from 1 to 4. Use the Eisenhower Matrix we have talked about and make 1-important & urgent. All the way to 4 being unimportant & not urgent.

Leave lines between each item so you can add items during the day as they arise. And assign appropriate priorities to these new items.

Finally, give each task an earlier deadline and 50% more time to complete than you think that you will need. This is to be sure to get it done in case of interruptions and emergencies.

Then you must take action on each item. Also give a proper celebration for each item completed and reward yourself. Even if it’s just a pat on the back for a job well done. The tasks you do not get done put on the list for the next day that night.

Get in the habit of making a to-do list everyday. It may be easier to do it on your computer or PDA so that you can easily re-schedule tasks and meeting. But if your like me you just like to use pen and paper.

How detailed you should make the list is up to you. Here are some things you might consider recording.

When does the task need to be completed

How long will it take

How important is it on a scale from 1 (very high priority) to 4 (not a priority)

When you will do it
Many Avon Representatives believe there are 2 reasons not to make to-do lists.

First, they think you will never get a third of the way down the list. And second, they think for every 1 item you cross off, you think of three more to put on. But I have used to-do lists for as long as I can remember and I have finished lists. Here are some of the ways I make to-lists work the so hard for me.

1. Write the list on paper, not the computer. A handwritten list will engage the whole mind.

2. Be very selective about what you put on the list. This is crucial. Put only those things that you really have time for each day. Also allow for 50% extra time for each task for unseen interruptions that will also come up.

3. Have a space to record new items. Keep spaces if possible between each task and write those that arise during the day in the order and with a priority on your list.

4. Keep tasks small. This means to write a smaller goal you can do in one day and not the larger goal. For example, “write outline for business plan,” not “write business plan”.

5. Try to do everything in order by priority. Don’t cherry pick and do things only as you feel like doing. It is very important to go through each item in order.

6. Also start at the beginning of the list. When you come back from a break start from the beginning with the oldest items. This way you will cross things off faster.

Lists I Create And Use

1. Daily Priority list. A list of things that must be done today. It should be the smallest.

2. General To-do list. If you are really busy, you should break this up into the 4 important and urgent categories of the Eisenhower Matrix.

3. Project Goals list. This is a list of a lot of smaller goals to reach a final, larger goal.

4. “Someday, Maybe” list. This is a list of the unimportant and not urgent items.

5. Main List of Goals. This is the medium and larger stuff you want to achieve in life.

Examples of Other Kinds of Lists the Avon Representative Can Use:

List prepared for prospecting and signing on downline.

Shopping lists.

List of phone calls to make.

List of things that need to be followed up on.

Chores to do around the house.

While you can create more types of lists, each one of these lists should be reviewed everyday. I usually spend a total of 15 minutes per day.

I am not trying to make you a compulsive list person. There are many valuable benefits to making all these lists.

First, you can get the items out of your head and into a system where you can remember to do them by their deadline.

Second, it’s easier to finish a project when all the steps are written out for you.

Third, when you separate your lists, you will find you are able to conquer each item with more power.

Once a Avon Representative gets in the habit of keeping to-do lists, they will be more organized and efficient. Ultimately, you will be more relaxed because you have clarified what you need to do.

In the next post in this series on my Time Management System for Avon Representatives, I will cover schedules and scheduling.

How do you use To-Do Lists? Do this seem like too many lists?

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