The Coffey Blog

Have a Great Workday! Quick tips for tackling your to-do list

Posted on: Monday, August 24, 2015

When it comes to getting work done, it's probably the most universal tool of all: the to–do list. We all have them—whether they're in our heads, on sticky notes, or in our smartphones or planners.

In this "Have a Great Workday!" post, we take a closer look at smart to–do list tactics for healthcare marketers. And with no further delay, here's tip No. 1: Don't keep your to-dos in your head! You want to free up your brainpower for other creative and challenging work.

Now moving right along, we asked our getting–stuff–done Coffey teammates this question:

What's your best tip for managing your to–do list?

We hope they offer you new ideas or good reminders that help you find what works best for you.

1, 2, 3, prioritize
"I take a few moments at the beginning of the day to prioritize my task list. Knowing what I'll work on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., takes the stress out of making those decisions on the fly. And gives me early warning if there's too much to accomplish—so I can ask for help or rearrange deadlines."
—Melissa Welling, Editor

Map it out
"One trick I've found that helps me is to break larger tasks into little pieces. For example, if I am working on a complex hospital website redesign project, listing each small step involved gives me a roadmap to follow each day."
—Jordan Knapp, Client Advocate/Project Manager

Tackle the tough stuff first
"When tackling my to–do list, I do the thing I least want to do first. That way it's done early, and the rest of the day just gets better from there."
—Dana Evans, Account Executive

Historical side note: Dana is on to something known in productivity circles as "Eat that frog!" This unappetizing notion comes from a Mark Twain quote: "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." It's also the title of a popular time management book by Brian Tracy.

Check the box
"I like to make a very simple list of my daily tasks. I put a box in front of each item and check it off as I complete it. It's satisfying to mark them done, and it ensures that even small matters don't get forgotten on my busiest days."
—Thomas Lederer, Copy Chief

Factor in time
"For my to–do list, I look at what's due and estimate how long each task is going to take me. When I plot out the time needed, it helps me better manage my days."
—Lisa Ladd, Digital Content Writer

Stick with what works
"After years of looking for better solutions, I've come back to using a large sticky note. It sounds old–fashioned, but it's extremely portable, easily editable, universally compatible, and, of course, adhesive—so it's always with me."
—Marcus Corder, Client Advocate/Project Manager

Capture to–dos on the go
"I keep a master to–do list on my computer. If something comes up when I'm away from my desk, I use the Notes app on my iPhone to jot it down. Then I can add it to the master list later."
—Becky Smith, Marketing Communications Manager

Make it an exit strategy
"Before I call it a day, I find it super helpful to make a list of things I need to do the next day. It cuts down on my prep time in the morning—so I am ready to go!"
—Haley Cool, Contract Specialist

Put us on your list! Let Coffey help with your marketing to-dos

We'd be happy to help tackle your healthcare marketing to-dos. It's what we do—from providing big–picture editorial strategy to creating unique, engaging content to managing every little detail of your organization's website or magazine. To get the conversation started, call us at 888.805.9101 or email us.

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