How to create the perfect (read: productive!) 'To-Do' List

An important key to remaining on top of your workload is to prioritise work around what is important for the strategy of your company and of your role.

It is the delicate balance of strategic versus reactive; getting your work done AND/OR the work that comes in at request.

The "Fill Your Bucket" analogy describes this balance well.

A professor fills a bucket full of large stones and then asks his students: "Is the bucket full?"

The students respond "yes!"

The professor reveals another bucket filled with sand, and yet another filled with water. He pours the sand and water into the bucket filled with stones. The sand and water fill in the gaps in the stones and then overflows.

The professor explains that if he had added the sand and water to the bucket first, he would not have had space for the larger stones.

It's a modern day story that demonstates how we run out of space for the larger strategic items (stones) on our To-Do Lists if we first allow our smaller tasks (sand and water) to 'fill the gaps'.

So, when writing your next To-Do List, take a moment of strategic reflection. Identify what is important and prioritise it visually by numbering or placing at the top of the list.

Just as we set boundaries in our personal lives to ensure we stay true to our authentic selves, be sure to set boundaries within your working role. Ask yourself: "Is what I am working on right now leading us towards our strategic goals". 

An easy way is to remeber to put the stones in first.

Are you a list maker? How do you prioritise and stay strategically productive your life and your work? We'd love to know in the comments below.

This article is adapted from an original article provided by Ta Lisa Hiron.

TaLisa is a coach who writes with emotional tenderness and an eye opening awareness about everyday observations. Her gift is her ability to see the world anew. Ta finds the words to express the innermost thoughts that we often struggle to explain, with a firm but friendly call to action that encourages one to step forward refreshed and open to all the world has to offer.

Read more from TaLisa Hiron in Edition 4 of our wellness magazine Well.In.You. or via her blog, Sense Of You.