Which to-dos should you be working on?

A frequently asked question.

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The paralegal’s to-do list is endless (as is the to-do list of a solicitor or trainee). A frequently asked question is “what should I be working on?”. Not just for me, but for all my colleagues.

Scottish guy took me through a to-do method that he was taught on an “organisation training day” he attended with work last week and it looked something like what is pictured above. I have seen similar methods, involving the use of post its to prioritise but this was the first time I had tried it.

Basically there are 4 categories of to-dos:
– important/urgent
– not important/urgent
– important/not urgent
– not important/not urgent.

Ideally, you should always be working in the important/not urgent category.

How did I get on?

I tried this for the first time today – I kept on top of my inbox (most new emails and jobs went straight into the “important/not urgent” category) and dealt with all my “important/urgent” jobs and got through a lot of the “important/not urgent” ones. I was surprised at how much time I actually spend on not important jobs when I have important ones on my desk.

So far so good. Will review the method again in a week.

Want to give it a go? Here’s what to do:

1. Think of all the things you need to do over a two week period.
2. Write them down on post-its.
3. Stick them in the relevant categories. (This is the important bit.)
4. Start working on them. No more procrastination.
5. Delegate the not important/not urgent jobs.
6. Update and review – move the post-its around.

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Post Box: Roald Dahl stamps

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The Royal Mail have issued their latest collection of stamps on the 10 January 2012. The collection takes the well know illustrations (illustrated by Quentin Blake) from Roald Dahl’s six most famous books (great pub quiz question).

Please see the shop website for some great Roald Dahl items (not just stamps).

There is a girl in this flat

There is a girl in this flat… How to tell? Look at the fridge.

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Knock knock “all out of” shopping list for keeping everyone organised.

Another example is notepad by the phone (so at least you know where it is even though you are on the mobile), letter holder (for junk mail)….

How do you tell?

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Boss yourself around with Sticky Notes

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Tell yourself what to do with “Deal with This” sticky notes from knock knock. The pad includes 100 sticky sheets and is perfect for putting the extra pressure on yourself (or others) when leaving a sticky note on a job. Particularly brilliant if you forget deadlines giving you options of immediately, end of the week or whenever to name a few.

Downside: they are too pretty to use…. I want to get though all the excess sticky notes lying around my desk first.

Finally Found: Moleskine Monthly Planner

Last year I bought a monthly planner for organising my blogging. Unfortunately shortly after I got distracted and stopped blogging regularly. My new years resolution for 2012 was to get back into blogging so I had been looking high and low for a new monthly planner recently… Without much success until now.

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This is my new monthly planner – soft cover and slightly bigger than last time (and more expensive at £16.99). The size is 19x25cm (bigger than a5 but not quite a4) which is slightly irritating. It is a little large to carry around, so it will end up being more of a “desk diary” which isn’t all bad, but I prefer my desk diaries to have hard covers… but I am unbelievably fussy and you can’t win them all. It is a nice notebook and the only actual disappointment is that the paper is a little thin even with biro (but this was the same as last years planner and I forgave this as it kept me organised).

Now that I have got back to it (“it” being the blogging) I hope to finish off my “blogging journal” series over the next few weeks. So until then catch up with the first part of the series if you haven’t already done so.

Everything is going to be alright

Meet my latest monthly notebook. Regular readers will know that i like to carry around a small notebook in my bag (usually A6 in size) for jotting down random thoughts, usually for blog posts.

It’s a cute little notebook that I picked up in the airport on my way back from holiday with a bunny like picture. A6 in size. 200 odd lined pages.

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But to be honest, I wasn’t interested in the somewhat plain marshmallowy yet cute cover, for me, this time, it was what was inside that caught my eye (and the bargain price of £2). Inside there is smooth blue-lined paper. The biro pen I usually write with on the move leaves smooth impressions on the page, and adds a certain flow to the handwriting. Blissful. Writing in this notebooks is actually relaxing rather than a chore. So shouldn’t take me too long to fill it all up.

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