A Simple Alternative To Your “To Do” List

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m a big proponent of creating and working with a schedule. Far from limiting you, it frees you up to know when you’re working (and more importantly, when you’re not). But I do admit that not everyone works with a schedule in the same way. For some, creating a schedule for your week that looks pretty much the same every week is the best way to work. That means you figure out what you need to do on a weekly basis and create “blocks” of time in your schedule to accommodate those needs.


For many of my clients, however, I’ve found that this type of schedule doesn’t fit with their values or the way they work. For them, the index card system is often a great alternative.


It’s a very simple 3 step system:

  • First, create a master list (I do mine on Sunday evening since my work week begins on Monday) of everything you can think of that you want to get accomplished in the coming week. Just getting it all out on paper in one long list often feels much better for me. Once it’s written down, it doesn’t feel like it’s taking up so much space in my life and mind.
  • Second, beginning on the same evening you make your master list, take out a clean 3X5 index card and choose no more than 5 items off of your master list (fewer if your time is squeezed for the next day) and write them on the card in order of importance. This card is portable so you can carry it with you throughout the day and as you accomplish items, cross them off your card.
  • Third, at the end of the day, take out a fresh, clean 3X5 card and transfer any of the items on your current card that you didn’t get completed and put them at the top of your new card. Then fill in your new to-do items from your master list until you have 5 for the next day.

That’s pretty much it. Once you move an item off of your master list onto your card, you can mark it off of your master list. As you work on your 5 items each day, be sure you let the other items on your master list go. This is a great way to stay focused on what you’ve chosen to work on each day knowing that you’ll get to the rest of the items on your list as the week progresses. It also allows you to create your schedule each day in a more immediate way, depending upon what you feel you need to work on for that day. I use a combination of this system and calendar blocking. Finding a system that works for you requires understanding your time management style and how you work best.


SpringCleanSquareIf you need a little help with that, you can watch my free webinar “Spring Cleaning For Your Direct Sales Business.”  I talked about the three time management styles and how you know which one suits you best. Once you nail that down, you can learn how to create a schedule that makes you LOVE coming to work based on the style that suits you best.


I also covered my simple three-step plan for getting your office space organized and we talked about a brilliant and easy-to-apply concept that will make it a breeze to organize all areas of your business, from follow up to your filing system. 


Ready to get organized? Click here to watch the replay now.


Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days-BannerNeed some help filling up your calendar for 2016? Grab your complimentary copy of my “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap. It’s yours for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. Already a member of the list? My system won’t add you twice, so go ahead and grab the roadmap anyhow. Click here to grab your roadmap now!


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Julie Anne Jones is a sought after speaker, certified life and business coach, and online trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in business. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.