Deadlines always get the best of me. Despite being a crazy organized individual (seriously, I clean up my desk every night before I leave), I somehow manage to miss the smallest of things. And before I know it time’s up and I’m scrambling to finish up a project.
The thing is, these deadlines don’t come out of nowhere—in fact, most of them I know to expect weekly. And yet they still catch me off guard.
Until I came up with the most genius (and simple) solution.
I call it my “weekly template.” On a separate note on my computer, I’ve created a basic schedule that includes all my recurring weekly assignments, Monday through Friday.
It looks something like this:
Every Thursday or so, I copy and paste the template under my current to-do list, add dates to each day so I know what week I’m working with, as well as any other notes I should remember. For example, if I have to send my boss my weekly email by a certain time, I add a bullet under “weekly email” with more details for myself to remember.
This way, no matter what other projects pop up at random, I still have all the things I have to get done that day in my to-do list (I even use bold font to note recurring deadlines).
This system also makes it easy to transition my tasks from week to week without losing anything important along the way. If I have to push back a project, for example, I can easily toss it into my template for the next week.
Easy enough, right?
Now I not only have no excuse to meet deadlines, but can work days, even weeks ahead because I know where I stand. And the ability to see into the future is the ultimate productivity hack.
If you just can’t get enough of the crazy simple productivity tips and tricks, why not test out:
- This email hack Muse Editor-in-Chief Jenni Maier uses all the time
- This cheat sheet that can save you 20 minutes of work later on
- This super easy way to motivate yourself to follow through on goals
Let me know how they go on Twitter!
TopicsSucceeding on the Job , Tools & Skills , Organization , Syndication , Life Hacks , To-Do Lists , Productivity , Time Management
Photo of person working courtesy of Tetra Images/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author