Question: Things are falling through the cracks at work. I’m constantly forgetting to do things or neglecting to follow-up with clients. I use sticky notes to remind myself of what I need to do and it often looks like my desk is covered in sticky notes. Worse, I often either can’t find a note or forget that I made a note. How can I get organized so things don’t fall through the cracks?
Answer: Not only does having things fall through the cracks prevent you from meeting your commitments and goals; it also creates stress for you. You need a more reliable process for collecting and storing your tasks and commitments. You’ve made a good first step in writing things down. The sticky notes fail because they aren’t safely consolidated into a task or to-do list and because it is difficult to manage your work when commitments and ideas are scattered about. Here are some tips for preventing things from falling through the cracks:
- Start using an electronic or paper task list. Make this the one and only spot you write down all of your commitments. Carry it with you. If you do jot down something on a sticky note, make sure to transfer it to your official task list.
- Create an end of day routine to review and prioritize your task list. Things fall through the cracks when we lose sight of what’s on our task lists and what’s important. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to make sure you have all of your tasks written in one place and to make decisions about how to prioritize your work for the next day.
Debbie Rosemont www.itssimplyplaced.com