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Is your to-do list relevant?

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in Admins,Office Management

It’s only the beginning of a new year, and you’re probably already a bit overwhelmed. How will you regain control of your time and work toward increased productivity? The answer is to check your to-do list.

The first step toward increased productivity is to remind yourself to question the tasks on your list and select them based on relevance. Always question the value of each task, based on how relevant it is to maximizing productivity and profits. Relevance isn’t a fixed aspect of a task; it can change over time.

You can benefit by regularly inspecting all tasks at three levels: organizational, team and personal. For example:

1. Organizational level: Suppose the company could benefit from a new phone system and you’ve picked an economical, effective solution. If you don’t get it done, the solution could be outdated in a few months, and you’ll have to start over again.

2. Team level: That motivation program to offer a new Kindle Fire HD may not be so relevant when the price of the Fire HD drops to under $100.

3. Personal level: By the time you get that master’s degree in finance, your job may have evolved to make it less relevant.

The same sort of reasoning applies to all other work tasks as well. How many of your tasks are still relevant to your work now and in the future? Take a thoughtful look at each one. For example, tasks that don’t fit your job description should go back to those to whom they belong. And legacy tasks should be checked to see if anyone would notice if they weren’t done. Don’t skip over anything, thinking, “Oh, that never changes.” It might.

Review task relevance regularly. If you find something that is irrelevant, check in with your leadership; there may be a reason for doing it that way. If not, revamp or replace it.

How do you handle task relevance—and have you checked it lately?

©Laura Stack

Editor’s Note: Laura will be one of the key speakers at Admin Pro Forum 2016, June 15-17. Let Laura help you discover “What To Do When There Is Too Much To Do.” For more information on Admin Pro Forum, please visit To register for the conference, visit: Admin Pro Forum 2016.

Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc. She has consulted with Fortune 500 corporations for nearly 20 years in the field of personal productivity. Laura is the author of six books and widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of employee productivity and workplace issues. She has been featured on national TV shows and in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine.

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