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The Best Kept Secret for Managing To Do Lists

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Simple comparison of tasks

 

Last time I told you about Blanchard’s Quadrants as an alternative means of effective time management. Even when the Quadrant approach works for you, there is always the possibility that you may get overwhelmed with your To Do List. It often happens to me and labeling tasks using the ABC approach, trying to eat frogs or other methods does not really help. Time Management is a very personal thing. So here is my best kept secret for managing To Do Lists!

It is simply using the technique of Paired Comparison when one is feeling overwhelmed and you need to take control of the To Do List instead of the other way around.

A simple example, when you were a kid and your parents took you to the pastry shop, did you or did you not compare the size of pastry, (just to check of course)  before settling on the piece to be bought? I did.

The Paired Comparison method uses a simple scoring system for comparing activities. The following example illustrates how this method can be applied:

Suppose I have 5 tasks or activities that I have identified that really need to be done but I cannot decide the hierarchy to complete them.

Here is the list of example tasks or activities to be performed:

  1. Make weekly call to parents
  2. Respond to emails
  3. Pay utility bill
  4. Make appointment with client to discuss report
  5. Check Facebook for status updates

 

The way to go about it is to compare each of the options against each other and put a mark against the relatively more important task in each comparison:

–       1 to 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 1 to 5

–       2 to 3, 2 to 4, 2 to 5

–       3 to 4, 3 to 5

–       4 to 5

 

Let’s say the result is as follows:

  1. Make weekly call to parents   xxxx
  2. Respond to emails                              x
  3. Pay utility bill                                       xx
  4. Make appointment with client to discuss report x
  5. Check Facebook for status updates

So, the order you would do the tasks in would be 1, 3, 2 or 4 (depending upon which one is more urgent), 5.

There are no hard and fast rules and the importance of each task depends upon your circumstances. For example, for a business that gets customers through their Page on Facebook, task number 5 may be most important.

Last week I also told you about my ebook  Eight tested Commandments for Time Management

If you haven’t seen it yet,  then I suggest accessing it because there might just be a commandment or tip in there that can help you ace the time management challenge without angst! Click the link above or the image below and learn more.

 

8 time management commandments

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “The Best Kept Secret for Managing To Do Lists”

  1. kimberly says:

    Even though my parents never took me to a pastry shop as a kid, I do understand the concept of making the comparison. Good information.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Welcome to my blog, Kimberly and thanks for the compliment. I am guilty of checking sizes of pastry pieces and it must run in the family as my pre-teen nephew was visiting last week and the Aunt found inspiration from her own childhood both in choosing pastry for her nephew and for this week’s post. 🙂

  2. Veronicaom/Blog says:

    I do have trouble managing my to do list. Great information

  3. Gina Hiatt says:

    Now that is a truly useful tip. I run into this problem almost every day. The problem with the pastry metaphor was that I could always choose. Now, when I have a big to-do list, I get overwhelmed and sometimes I don’t choose anything — I just let something choose me. And that’s the worst way to choose.

    I’m glad I found your blog — your posts look quite useful, which is what I’m always looking for — information I can take action on!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Welcome to my blog, Gina. The primary mission of my blog is to provide doable and actionable tips and when a reader finds these tips useful, mission accomplished! The problem with choices is that it can overwhelm us and we tend towards procrastination (which is also a choice) or letting someone or some event make the choice for us. This is when we need to consciously step back and think, which 1 task will make the most difference or give me the highest return?

      I’m glad you found the tip useful and look forward to seeing you here more often!

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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