One of the greatest business lessons I ever learned was at the end of each day writing out a list of things that need to be done tomorrow and then writing a number of priority beside each one. When I start the next day I look at the written list and I know where to start. I start on item number 1 and get that item either resolved or as far to being resolved as I can. Then I go to item number 2 and so forth.
What this little organization list does, is it prevents me from getting to the office and just doing busy work that does not accomplish the objectives for the day. Examples of busy work is cleaning out your inbox, clutter files, arranging the things on your desk, standing in the hallway shooting the breeze with people and basically doing things that do not help me accomplish the objectives.
I find that the greatest thing I have is my time. I also find that if I want to have a personal life outside of work, I need to leave on time and if I want to leave on time, I need to organize the day so I get started quicker. I read a book years ago by Zig Ziglar and the example he used in the book was of a person that was going on vacation the next day and needed to get everything done before he left. The idea is that it is amazing how much real meaningful work you can get done if you know you are leaving on vacation tomorrow. There is no busy work, talking in the hallways, taking a long lunch etc. In this situation you are focused on the goal and work toward the objective of getting all the things done before you leave.
I have often said that the average person can do three days of work in one if they have a written organized plan. Putting the plan together the day before helps you leave work on time and enjoy your family life. It even helps you sleep better because your mind is not running a flip chart on all the things you have to get done.
This simple business idea of a written plan has worked for many business leaders for many years and it does not involve any technology other than a piece of paper and a pen. Old school at its best. KT