Organization 101: Tips for Your To-Do List

Let’s face it: most of us fantasize about being more organized with our time. But the ugly, scattered truth is – most people are not very well organized. We are not born to be. But it’s a skill that anyone in any profession can learn, to increase productivity and work more efficiently. My mother was an organized person, so I was fortunate to learn a few tricks that have served me well.

Being organized is about being in control. Control of how you handle paper, email, the phone, your time, and all other tasks and responsibilities that make up your workday. It’s about being aware, and prepared. Proactive, instead of reactive.

On any given day, a BSL Account Executive needs to manage a variety of projects for a diverse set of clients. This means collaborating with strategists and writers, designers and developers, and ensuring that what needs to get done, gets done.

In this article we tackle… The To-Do List.

Customize your list
You should have all tasks and appointments included in the list. The list may be ordered chronologically, by category, or by priority level. No style is better than any other – it’s about what works for you. One good tip is to have a "Keep In Mind" list for items that are not immediately relevant, but that you don't want to forget about.

Respect your list
Just like email, your to-do list is something that needs your attention. It is its own priority. Start your morning by reviewing your daily items. Taking just five minutes at the beginning and end of each day will help you focus on what you need to do, and ensure you are keeping your lists up-to-date. At the end of the day, check off your accomplishments and add any new tasks or goals.

Inspire your list
Start each item with an action verb. Don’t just make it an item – make it an action item! By starting the item with “Call…” or “Schedule…” or “Submit…” you save yourself the extra time in planning how to accomplish the goal. With an action verb staring back at you – all you have to do, is do it.

Stay tuned for my next installment of Organization 101: Managing Your Inflated Inbox.


  1. Very timely post - I am feeling rather overwhelmed, so I am going to "destress" by preparing my "to-do list". Thanks!

  2. I used to be very good at making a to-do list and respecting it. Will have to start doing it again at one point.