Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The To-Do List

One of the best school counselors I have ever known, was the master of the To-Do list.  She wrote down everything she needed to do and everything she wanted to do.  She got things done!  Her method of organizing herself each day was quite scientific.  She wrote her tasks in pen and crossed them off with a Sharpie.  It always made us giggle when she would walk back into her office, write something down that she had just finished, then immediately drew one, straight line through it with her Sharpie!  She would say, "I didn't have THAT on my list but I gotta write it down!"

Her list included the important things:  counseling kids and teachers, working with parents, teaching guidance lessons, helping a teacher, planning for school improvements, etc.  Her list also included regular tasks such as:  cut-out shapes for lessons, make copies for meetings, and order supplies for Red Ribbon Week.  She used her list to get the important things done and the rest of it too!

Dr. Steven Covey says we need schedule our priorities.  If it is truly important and vision-focused, it is worth prioritizing!  Ensuring that the important things were accomplished increases effectiveness.

I tried to use her method for myself, as I was always trying to find ways to increase my own efficiency.  After a few days, my list looked like a mess!  This method didn't work for me.  I modified and adjusted in an attempt to make it work. A few more days, and it still didn't work!  I asked her how she was able to keep it going so well and how she didn't let the little things get in the way of the big rocks.

She told me that no matter what order her tasks were written, she knew she needed to take care of the people on her list first.  (The people were highlighter yellow!)  If someone was counting on her, it got done first.  She did the little things along the way.  She also told me that her list was her way of celebrating all that she did for the people that were counting on her!  In other words, her list helped her effectively take care of her relationships because without them, nothing else mattered.

At that point, I changed my perspective.  For me, I focused on the people that were counting on me, rather than creating a written record of all that I did each day.  What a difference!  Thanks, Lorie!  You helped me improve!