How to Create a Master To-Do List
I am going to be presenting at the United Soccer Coaches Convention next Saturday the 22nd at 1:30pm on “Becoming Organized and Efficient as a Recruiter.” If you are going to be at the convention, please stop by and say hi or even let me know if you have a minute and we can try to meet up in person.
I thought I would do a test run webinar of my presentation with anybody who wanted to attend this Wednesday January 19th at 5pm EST. Click here to register to attend live or to get the recording.
In the webinar I am going to take coaches through my Plan, Do, Review, and Improve framework for setting yourself up for success in 2022.
I will also share with you some of the key resources, planning pages, and actions I have found to be game changers over my 23-year career when I was the recruiting coordinator at some of the schools I have been at (University of Utah, Minnesota State Mankato, LMU, Xavier, South Dakota, Youngstown).
One of the foundations of my planning system that had helped me become more organized and efficient was my master to-do list.
As a reader of this newsletter, you have heard me say before that you need 2 to-do lists to stay organized:
A limited daily to do list, which contains all the high impact tasks that keep your workflow humming along and will bring you the results you want (I will show you the new planning pages that I am having coaches use to make sure you are focusing on high value needle moving activities vs being stuck in the weeds doing busy work all day).
A master list, which contains all future projects and tasks, someday items, and good ideas you’re not ready to work on. This list can be further organized and separated into the months for which you will need to work on each task.
You must separate what you need to do today from what you don’t need to do today. Combining the two is very distracting and makes it difficult to determine what to work on next.
Begin with a master list as the foundation of your time planning system. From this list you can create checklists, create systems for repeatable tasks, tasks can be delegated, and have everything all in one place so nothing is forgotten.
This Master To-Do List holds all of the tasks that need to get done over the course of the year–and gets them out of your brain until you’re ready to act. This list then becomes the central control list for your coaching life.
Having this list allows me to:
Free up my mind so I don’t have to remember everything.
Be proactive with my schedule and get things done in advance so I can avoid a lot of running around frantically trying to finish a lot of last minute things. There is no more “oh crap, I forgot we have to do this” for me…for the most part J.
I can plan ahead which tasks I NEED to do, which tasks can be delegated, and which tasks can wait to be done until later.
Being proactive on my to-do list has made it easier to meet goals, it has reduced a lot of busyness, and I have been able to work more efficiently.
How to Create Your Master To-Do List
The master list is a running list of everything you need or want to do at some point during the year in your program. Write down everything that you can think of that you will need to do for your program in the indefinite future. As new ideas, goals, tasks, and responsibilities arise; write them down on your master list. Don’t trust them to memory. Whenever something important comes in that lacks urgency or has no set deadline, add it to the master list, so you have a running compilation of all of the things you want to do eventually but don’t need to do today.
Your master list keeps your daily list from overflowing into uselessness, and may consist of a dozen or hundreds of entries as a result. Your master list should be a perpetual work in progress: a living, evolving document guiding long-term workflow. You can’t let it turn into a dead file for forgotten tasks. To keep it at the top of your mind, your master list has to flow into your daily list, so that each day, you were not only doing the urgent, but you were working on the important as well.
How to Use Your Master List
Plan each month in advance by transferring the appropriate items from your master list to your monthly list. This way you will already have a list that covers everything that can be proactively worked on in the coming weeks and can avoid rushing to do it last minute. This is best done the last week of each month.
Then plan each week in advance by transferring items from your monthly list to your daily list. This is best done the weekend before.
Other organizing tips:
Organize your master list by the month that you should work on it.
Add all names, phone numbers, and email addresses that you will need to accomplish the task. It will save you a long time having to search for it.
Continuing to add new tasks as they come up is important, but so it eliminating tasks that don’t need to be done at all.
This list is a living document. I don’t know that I ever stopped adding or taking away from it year by year as we evolved as a program. The point though, is this was a way to get everything out of my head and into a trusted place so I could organize my thoughts, prioritize my to-do’s, delegate when needed, create systems for repeatable tasks, and then had it as a feedback loop to be able to see where we were succeeding and where we were falling short. None of that would have been possible if I just kept everything in my head.
Again, I am giving coaches who attend the webinar my Recruiting Made Simple Master To-Do list. Again, click here to register to attend live or to get the recordings.
Hope you are having a great weekend.
To your success,