A quick note on authorship: I recently found a pin on Pinterest. And, as so many do, the pin was just a picture without much information as to the author or original content owner. I believe that this system originated in the Paper Pens Ink blog written by Amanda at http://paperpensink.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-planning-system.html.

 

How often do you re-write your to-do list? Is it electronic? Is it paper? I’m old-school and I have to write it down. It sticks in my brain better, and there’s just something about putting pen to paper that provides that psychological relief of having started a process with the best foot forward. I digress.

Each week I re-write my to-do list and ensure that I have everything I need to be successful. I also review my goals and current projects list to ensure everything is on track. Here is a review system that I currently use:

  1. First, capture everything!
    • Gather your to-do lists, your sticky notes, and your emails.
    • Get things out of your head and onto paper-brainstorm!
    • Process all of your notes, ideas and to-do’s into the right place.
  2. Reflect on last week’s accomplishments.
    • Did you get everything done? If not, why not?
    • Are there any follow-ups, escalations, or complications from last week that are going to bleed into this week?
  3. Review your calendar.
    • What commitments do you have?
    • What preparations do you need to do?
    • How much (realistically) can you do in a day?
    • Allocate things from your monthly to-do/tasks/goals.
    • Make sure there is a balance in your key areas (family, health, happiness, work).
  4. Review goals and projects.
    • Review events in the next four weeks.
    • Ensure goals have a clear next action point.
    • Edit out impossible goals/projects/things.
    • Add any new goals or projects.

If I get lost or confused along the way, always ask:

  1. Is it my dream?
  2. Is it essential?
  3. Time is finite.

How do you keep on-top of your to-do list as a research administrator?