I suggest using an electronic tool, rather than paper-and-pencil. You can’t remember everything so you need to keep important things out of your head. In addition to your to-do list, have a “Project” list, containing your big-picture objectives. A Project has a specific beginning and end. So “Grow the company” might become “Add two new salespeople by third quarter.” Then you must ask yourself, “What’s the very first thing I need to do to move that project forward?”
Specific action steps might be: “Review the budget to allocate the funds,” or “Request meeting with Sales VP to discuss resource allocation.” The idea is that if you had five minutes, and wanted to move that project forward, you’d know exactly what you’d need to do. If you don’t have a specific action identified, that task is less likely to get done, and as a result, that project is less likely to move forward.
Contributors: Maura Thomas from Regain Your Time