A frequent and probably one of the most valuable tips about getting things done is to start your day with the most important tasks (especially if you’re a morning person) or the most disliked tasks.

Before you start on your tasks each day, though, it’s a good idea to check:

·       Your notes – Run through your notes. You made them for a reason, so be sure to check them every morning.  Put your appointments on your calendar, your chores on your to-do list, and your long-term goals on your bucket list.

Then check:

·       Your calendar. See what’s up for the day and for the coming week or two.

·       Your to-do list. Have tasks front and center. If you see them often, you are more likely to get them done. This list is there to remind you of what you need to do soon.

·       Your bucket list. Maybe you can do part of a project this week. If you don’t think about them they’ll never get done.

·       Your inboxes, both virtual and actual. Save them for last. A lot of them will include requests from other people, and if you handle them first, you might get lost in the forest and not get your own trees taken care of. However, if you can start your day with your inboxes empty, you’ll be ahead for the rest of the day and will be motivated to get even more done. But again, be sure not to get caught up in other things. Move chores from there to your to-do list or calendar, or take notes. But unless it’s an emergency, get going on what you had planned for the day first.

Isn’t it a great feeling to be in control and have a plan? I thought so. Enjoy your day!


If you’re on the computer without your notebook handy and have a brainstorm, send yourself an email. Really. You can deal with whatever it was when you have time, then delete the email, like crossing off a chore on your to-do list.

Make sure the subject line clues you into what the email is about. For example, if you are writing a book called UNTITLED, put the title in the subject line, and a few words about what part of UNTITLED you had the brainstorm about. For example, “UNTITLED, clue in the ransom note.”

I love little tricks like this. How about you? Have any you’d like to share?


Some things you want to do take a long time to finish. Others only take a few minutes or so. How to balance that? Here’s an idea.

First, have two lists of what you want to do every day. One list for big projects and one for small to-dos.

Then start your day by working for one hour straight on a long project. After an hour, if you’ve been sitting down, get up and do some of the smaller projects around your space. This will rest your mind and your eyes and stretch your body. If there is nothing you can think of to do for about ten minutes while standing, do some stretching exercises. You can do many things standing that you often do sitting. Make phone calls, sort the mail, file, and of course, if you’re keeping house, any chore will fill the time. Sit down for another, now fifty minutes, and work, then get up again for ten.  I do it this way because it’s easier to keep track of using “on the hour” time than trying to remember, was it ten minutes past or twenty minutes of the hour, or . . .? If you’ve been standing for an hour, take a break and do sitting-down chores for ten minutes.

If you can’t think of anything to do for those ten minutes or run out of chores by the end of the day after sitting for hours, well, then, dance.