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SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best by Laura Stack

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Chapter 17. Um, What Was I Supposed to Do Today?

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I know exactly where I'm supposed to be and exactly what I should be working on at all times.

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking

Are you kidding me? When am I supposed to :find time to organize my schedule?

SuperCompetents know what they should be doing and where they should be at any given time. They have highly organized calendars and to-do lists and know exactly what they should be working on during periods of discretionary time. They break projects down into manageable pieces, so their short-term actions translate into long-term success.

Things to Do

To-do lists are necessary for keeping track of action items: Things that we must do at some point but don't necessarily have to be done at a specified time (as a meeting on your calendar does).

To-do lists let you write something down so you can forget it, which allows your brain to be less cluttered. For example, if you needed a few items at the grocery store, you could make a list, run in, and grab just the items you need. Or you could walk up and down each aisle, looking at every product, hoping your eye would catch something and trigger your memory. If you get the shopping done a half hour earlier by using the list, you could be spending your time doing more important things.

How do you handle it when you think of something you need to do? Do you simply add it to a list? Make a new task in Outlook? Write it on a sticky note? Put it in your spiral notebook? Many ...

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