USING A MASTER LIST TO CREATE A PLAN THAT WORKS
The new tool recommended here is not a traditional to-do list. Rather, it is a hybrid of the traditional to-do list. In brief, a Master List is a pad of paper where you will keep all the possible activities, notes, action items, your thoughts, and so on for an entire week. You will then learn how to combine your Master List and your Daily List (calendar) into a well-organized, customized system.
Have you ever noticed a football coach on the sidelines of a game? They have a laminated sheet they look at with all the possible plays they could call, all in one place. That is the same principle as the Master List. Everything in one place, ready to “audible” or change plays (tasks) at a moment’s notice.
How to Create and Use a Master List
- A Master List is larger than a to-do list. Make sure your Master List includes not only to-do tasks but also:
- The purpose of the Master List is to get everything out of your head. Turn your mind into a strategic thinker not a memory chip. The process is that when you have a thought, write it down immediately, and then delete it from your mind. Write down everything the instant it occurs, in no particular order.
- Notes from conversations (in person and on the phone)
- Ideas (they may never come back)
- To-dos you don’t want to forget (don’t waste time saying “don’t forget”)
- Random thoughts
- Personal to-do’s (and family)
- Tasks with deadlines to add to your calendar
- Meeting notes with action items separated out (recorded on the blank backside of your Master List form)
- Tasks or projects you have delegated
- Performance observations (to be acknowledged, corrected, discussed, and/or rewarded)
- Only have one list. Take time to determine what you need your list to do and what it needs to keep track of. If you want to separate work and home, or tasks delegated, etc., use tabs to separate your categories. If your list is electronic, make sure all of your devices can sync (so you only have to record it in one place but can see it on all your devices.)
Note: This is described in detail in my book and there is a blank template you can download for free. This can be found on the main page, at the top of the page under, “Forms”.