Because I'm sure you also have a million things going on in your life just like me, I thought it may be helpful to share three things I personally do to manage the chaos.
Without this structure, I honestly don't know how I'd do it.
#1: Use Software To Manage My Tasks
I use the free version of a tool called Trello. If you're not familiar with Trello, it's a great way to manage tasks in a Kanban style interface. I've been using this app for several years now, and it's super helpful. I'd encourage you to check it out if you struggle at all with staying on top of tasks.
And, for now, they still offer a free version for personal use.
#2: Use A Calendar
I put every key date, milestone, and reminder in my Google calendar with notifications turned on. So, Trello manages my tasks, but my Google calendar keeps my events and important dates on point.
I also have a shared calendar with my wife to keep our family in sync. This could come in handy for you by sharing your calendar with others (i.e. family, friends, classmates, business partners, etc.) to help stay on the same page.
#3: Daily Paper Checklist
I use a daily paper checklist for my critical tasks. This isn't something on the computer, this is a printed journal I use to track things... old school with paper and pen. You may not want to use a printed journal, but I've found that having something in front of me on paper does a better job holding me accountable on a daily basis than having to navigate to some app on my phone.
Every Sunday, I fill out my task list for the week. Then, every night, I make sure my tasks for the next day are still prioritized correctly. My list contains 3 critical tasks (tasks I must get done the next day), and it also includes 5 general tasks (tasks I'd like to get done, but they will only be worked on after I've finished my critical tasks). For example, typing this post was one of my critical tasks and mowing the yard was a general task.
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The Bottom Line
Structure is so important to success.
It's tough to stay on top of everything on your plate if you don't have a process you follow.
You don't have to follow the same steps I outlined above, but you should put some thought into the best way for you to stay organized.
Let me know if you have any other approaches that help you stay on top of your schedule. I'm always open to new ideas and tools to help me improve and to share with others.
Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of tech industry knowledge. Ryan has his BBA and MBA from the University of Iowa. Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.