Creating an Effective Action Item Task Management System

Technique #5: Implement an Action Item Task Management System, and Use It Daily to Help You Manage Priorities and Time

Technique #6: Use the 20-Minute Rule When Entering Tasks into Your Electronic Task Management System

No electronic or paper-based tools will solve the problem of having an effective action item system unless you use the system you create on a daily basis. While it’s possible that no perfect application or paper-based tool exists—and that you might not be 100 percent satisfied all the time—if it solves 80 percent of your challenges, then I recommend that you do the necessary implementation, get your action items into the system, and start using it immediately. You must use this system on a daily basis for at least a month to figure out if it’s going to work for you. It has been said that a new habit takes about 21 days to form—so give yourself a month and determine what is working and what isn’t so you can make the necessary changes. Don’t just give up without making the required adjustments; sometimes, you’ll just need to do a bit of minor tweaking.

Keep in mind that it’s going to take you some time to set up your electronic or paper-based system of choice. You need to ensure that you set aside an appropriate amount of time at the beginning to establish your system and input your data. It’s simply not efficient to start using your new system that hasn’t been loaded with all of your data; you’ll still ...

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