Why a to-do list? Isn’t it just an administrative burden? Here are a few tangible values that to-do lists bring about:
Don’t strive to show that “you have completed all work” by leaving your to-do list empty. A long list means that you are able to grab work and plan ahead. It shows that your team is ready to accept new members to whom you can easily delegate defined tasks.
So don’t panic when seniors bombard you with tasks and new responsibilities. Welcome them; it’s an opportunity to grow your team and for you to take on a more senior position.
Ideally, you should be able to accept new members into your team at any time, given that they are carefully recruited and perform well of course. Over the past years at LiteBreeze there’s never been a lack of work for anyone irrespective of the department.
Technical staff can include tasks which are not related to client projects such as appraisal input, case studies, blog posts and share with their seniors at LiteBreeze.
Project-related to-do lists, in addition to sprint work plans, might be handy in some situations. Non-technical staff will use to-do lists more actively.
Set up your to-do list as a Google doc named “Your name – Todo list”. Give edit permissions to your Gdoc so that seniors can re-prioritize tasks and track your revisions. Bookmark your junior colleagues’ to-dos in a separate bookmark folder.
Share your to-do list broadly; transparency is a good thing.
Here’s a sample to-do list structure. The exact structure may need to differ based on your role, department, quantity of grabbed tasks etc.
Personally, I have around eight different to-do lists: accounting and tax planning, coaching, marketing, office 2018 / office expansion, systems/portal development, recruitment, administrative, low-effort tasks (that can be worked on if tired).
My to-do list is shared with top seniors.
Low-priority doesn’t mean that it’s a task of little value. A long list of low priority task means that you should consider growing your team, to recruit new members for your team and that you might need to delegate more aggressively.
You will need to re-think and reorder your to-dos quite often, as the impact that a task has will change often. A non-urgent task sometimes becomes a HILE task as you take part in new information.
Work with your to-do actively. It will become a natural habit to update it at least once per week.