Much a Do about To-Do Lists

You have a ton of things to do but just can't handle them. Worse, you've written them down clearly, and yet, you don't seem to have to time to do them. Make your To-Do list do its job.
  • Make a list and do just three. Give your brain a break, and jot down all the tasks you have to do instead of making a mental list and struggling to remember what you need to do. If you can't do all on your list in a day, do just three.
  • Interruption free. A friend calls, your colleague comes by for a chat, and you find yourself entertaining them, and whine about not getting work done at the end of the day. Stop these interruptions. Start with closing your office door, letting your voicemail field your calls, and get to work on your To-Do list. After completing an item or two, give yourself a break to call someone you need to speak to, or to check your incoming e-mail.
  • Don't ignore the important tasks. The hardest tasks, which are also usually high-priority tasks, are always pushed to the last, but they won't disappear. To be sure you're working on your high-priority tasks, when choosing your three tasks each day, pick at least one that is high priority, no matter what its difficulty level. If you can't finish that high-priority task in one day, even working on it for 15-30 minutes each day will ensure you're working towards its completion.
  • Reward yourself. After you've completed each task, take the time to reward yourself, such as going for a short walk or relaxing with a cup of coffee. Your day will be productive and enjoyable.
The Daily Tasks

Do the little chores around the home today, and you won't have to waste time over the weekend taking care of them.
  • Do a load every alternate day. A family generates a lot of laundry. Neglect it for a few days, and it will grow. Wash a load every alternate day, and it will never get out of hand. Do your ironing every other day, and you won't need to iron mountain loads on Sunday.
  • Don't leave dirty dishes overnight. It's tempting to head for bed after that wonderful dinner, but if you don't handle the dishes right then, you'll need to scrape off encrusted food when you do get around to washing up.
  • Clean your bathroom now. Most people hate to clean bathrooms because they wait until a week or more, then things get yucky. Instead, do a five-minute speed clean on the bathroom every day. When you're done using the shower, immediately spray the walls with shower cleaner. Use pre-moistened disinfectant wipes to quickly wipe the toilet surface and the countertop. Squirt some toilet cleaner in the bowl and swish it around with the toilet brush.
  • Dust daily. Too tired to dust the house? Dust a different room each day, and it will feel less of a hassle. If you still feel you are spending too much time dusting a room, it's time to clear out your junk.