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Expert List Techniques You’re Not Doing – But Should! (+ a freebie!)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’re probably a pretty savvy list maker. So how do you take it to the next level?

Getting the most out of your list, firstly, means understanding how priorities work. For example, today you might want to pick up groceries and also start planning the first chapter of your book. (That’s two separate lists – I’m sure you already know that!)  But how do you make sure that the here and now doesn’t override your long term goals?

Split your lists into lists: Immediate Priority vs Long-Term Priority

Not only do I believe in having multiple lists, but those lists can be split into different categories. We aren’t talking about daily to-do lists here to be clear. These lists are IMMEDIATE PRIORITY vs. LONG-TERM PRIORITY lists.

I like to use Evernote to keep my goals separate – and I split them into 2 notebooks. Your active list is what you are going to do for the week (like writing that book chapter!) or other important things that are on your mind – like knocking off some of your Christmas shopping! In another notebook I store my long-term priority list. This is where I keep all my ongoing projects and reminders for things I need to do later in the month or later in the year.

For example, if your goal for now is to write chapter one of your book, it’s a good idea to keep your outlines for the later chapters in this notebook. You don’t need them right now, but you’ll want to have them handy for reference. Or you can keep links to the Google Docs where you keep your notes or inspiration in this folder as well.  Anything that will make it easier for you to start crossing off tasks is helpful.

Be very specific  

With your IMMEDIATE PRIORITY list you need to be very specific. For example, I make my daily to-do lists at the end of each day. I think of every email or phone call I want to make the next day and I clearly write out what needs to be done.  Instead of “emails” I will write “send an email to Trisha about Monday’s event” This helps me to keep on task during the day.  I’m also automatically prioritizing as I write my list.  

To learn how to do that sign up for my free giveaway “Prioritize Like a Pro.”

With LONG-TERM PRIORITY lists it’s good to have an overarching idea of what you want to do, but it’s best not to get too bogged down in the details. To go back to the book example, you would set yourself a deadline for when you want to complete each chapter and write and outline for each of them. But you wouldn’t plan the days you’re going to write it until you’re closer to that deadline. Then you can pull from that list when the time comes to make your daily to-do lists.

Plus these lists can overlap each other – by that I mean you’ll be using them at the same time. So you should reference them and pull items from the long-term priority list and stick it on the immediate priority lists. Eventually it will graduate to the daily to-do list. Think of each list as a stepping stone – as you move from one to the next you’re closer to completing the task.

The reason I keep these separate is so that you can focus more on what’s on your daily to-do list without getting too distracted by those big goals. I would recommend checking in on your long term priority list every week or so.  This way you know what tasks you have coming up. But you won’t feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.  

If you’d like to check out my system to Prioritize Like a Pro fill in the form below and I’ll send you my free giveaway.  






 

3 Ways to Have an Effective Lunch Meeting

I always look forward to a good lunch meeting, but it can be tricky to get it right because there are so many distractions. If the purpose of the meeting is to talk business you may have to plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than getting to the best part of your pitch when suddenly the waiter interrupts to take your order. Or when the food takes to long and makes you late to work.

The best way to ensure a successful lunch meeting is to put in a little planning beforehand. Here are some of my top tips.

Choose the location wisely – When I meet with my mastermind group for meals we have got them down to an exact science! When booking a place to meet we always ensure that we meet at a restaurant where you can go up and get your food and then sit down. This saves you getting distracted looking at the menu and dealing with the waiter. Plus once you’ve got your food you can sit down and get started quickly on whatever topics you’ve got on the agenda. Read more

The Real Reason You Can’t Clear Clutter

Why is it so difficult to just get rid of stuff? As a recovering pack rat – I totally get it. It seems easy enough but sometime there are items like those boots you never wore or that candlestick holder your friend gave you when she moved out of her apartment.

The important thing here is to know that you’re not alone in struggling to get rid of stuff. I recently attended a Running with Heels dinner in NYC. Running with Heels is a women’s networking group run by my friend Jenny Powers. She books all kinds of speakers and interesting experts.  The dinner I went to featured productivity expert Julie Morgenstern. Julie kindly wrote the foreword to my book Listful Thinking.

The topic of discussion was about clearing clutter and why it’s so difficult to get rid of our stuff! This included a heartbreaking story of how Julie often found her kitchen over stuffed with cookbooks she never used. When she thought about why she clung to these cookbooks so desperately, she realized it was because the represented the mother she wished she could be. A mom who was well known for her delicious home-cooked meals. Read more

How Doing Nothing Can Help You Get More Done

I meet people all the time who struggle with their productivity because they believe that being efficient means doing as much as humanly possible, all day every day. Not true! Productivity is more about quality over quantity, as well as prioritizing your time to suit what is important to you.

I love finding other productivity nerds like myself who are just as passionate about this stuff. Like Chris Bailey author of The Productivity Project. Chris recently did a TEDx talk about the year he spent trying to hack his productivity. He found that the most important lesson he learned was how valuable meditation was in his day to day life.

While most people see meditation as doing ‘nothing’ Chris found that these quiet moments allowed him to reflect on his day and focus on the tasks ahead.

Being productive doesn’t mean you have to be physically doing something all the time!

Here are some of Chris’s top tips:

The Rule of Three – Keep it simple. Give yourself just three tasks that you want to have accomplished by the end of the day. By limiting how much you have to get done, you can be certain you’ll complete everything you set out to do! Once you’ve finished those three tasks you can move onto other smaller chores.

Quit Multitasking – I harp on about the perils of multitasking all the time so it’s good to see that someone else agrees with me! Chris points out that the more tasks you do at once, the less chance of success you have with any one task.

All Things in Moderation – You can’t be at your best if you haven’t slept well or had enough to eat. Balance your day and take care of yourself. Make sure to get a little exercise, as well as eat healthy meals. Chris is also a big believer in taking regularly breaks like me!

Disconnect – Technology is nice, but when we become reliant on it, it can really hamper our productivity. Treat the internet as a nice tool for occasional use instead of something you must have!

Let your Mind Wander – If you’re too busy rushing from one thing to another your mind never has a chance to relax. Downtime is often the best place for coming up with new ideas. It’s why I stopped reading articles at breakfast and just let myself have a peaceful moment! I’ve come up with so many ideas for my blog this way!

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P.S. If you like TEDx talks you should check out my friend Terri’s! It’s about why you should stop searching for your passion and it has over 1,000,000 views!

Listful Thinking AUDIOBOOK is OUT TODAY!

Just over a year ago my book Listful Thinking was released and now I’m excited to announce that it has been released as an audiobook!

I rarely have time to sit down and read a book, so I much prefer to listen to podcasts and books on the go. So it seems only fitting that my book about time management and productivity would be available in such an efficient format.

If you remember I posted a couple weeks back about how much fun I had recording the audiobook. Although it was a little stressful to be on the other side of the coin and find myself at the mercy of another producer. It was a long process and I was physically exhausted by the end of it. That’s a lot of talking!

However, reading my book out loud made me realize some of the difficulties that come with listening to a book instead of reading it. For example, when I talk about an app or website that I love it’s very easy to read about it in my book and then look it up online. Things start to get a little more tricky when you only hear it, how are you supposed to know how it’s spelled or remember to write it down?

To make things easier for all my audiobook fans I am giving away a FREE resources guide to everyone who purchases a copy of the audiobook. It lists all the apps, websites, books and articles that I mention in Listful Thinking.

To claim your resources guide forward a copy of your receipt to my assistant nicole@listproducer.com and she will send you the guide.

I hope you enjoy the audiobook as much as I enjoyed recording it!