I have a ritual. Without it, I would be the same as before, distracted, confused, without focus. Only this ritual helped me make the most out of my day. Oh yes, every morning I open a can of beer and start watching a sports match!!! As you can see, I’m kidding. I am not Al Bundy :). So I go to shower, eat, and when I come to the office, I do the following: a) I glance at the emails, and b) I prepare a list of tasks.
I adore the to-do list.
The to-do list is closely related to the start of the day. The to-do list is an excellent prelude to a successful and happy start to the day, without which I can’t. After all, without a beautiful introduction, we wouldn’t like Metallica’s song “Nothing Else Matters”?
I’m sure what I’m saying because I was a lubber when I didn’t use my to-do list, and my life was frozen.
So if you ask yourself, “How to make the most out of your day” my answer would be, complete your to-do list every morning but do it according to my method of what I call “all-in-one.”
“However, I was hoping to hear something more interesting than stories about time management!!!” a young man who expected entertainment, rest, chill will say. I WILL SHOUT into his ear, “IN THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL RECEIVE NOT ONLY FUN! YOU WILL RECEIVE A TOOL WITHOUT WHICH YOU CAN’T ACHIEVE GREAT RESULTS OR A WIDE-FORMAT FULFILMENT!”
How do I note down tasks for the whole day to keep my heart at ease?
When I was stupid I didn’t fill up my tasks for the day. That is why the words “Damn thing, maybe I forgot something” kept spinning in my head. This thought was killing me. Caused anxiety. When you feel that you have forgotten something, you feel like a loser. And only then did I get over this feeling. Oh yes, I feel lifted up every day these days. Because I keep telling myself, “Everything is going according to plan.”
“Have enough bragging, Alex, better tell me how you control tasks!” a smarter person will say. Okay, in a moment I will tell you!
Do you know what Google Docs is?
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I use Google Docs every day. When I open a Google Docs file (it’s called “All tasks” and it’s always waiting for me in the browser’s tab bar), I see an all-in-one table.
Here we see two horizontal blocks, each with eight vertically arranged blocks.
The top bar is for tasks until noon, and the bottom bar is for tasks in the afternoon.
Every morning over coffee, I add a little piece of work to each project that I MUST do that day. Then, I paint the task red. I don’t do anything highlighted in gray. The gray color resembles the work to be done the next day.
1. I describe ALL TASKS very clearly. For example, look at block #3. Do you see? It’s named Monaco.lt.
Do you see the text highlighted in red, “Structure of article No. 5!”?
I will do this job in about 10-15 minutes. The assignment is not to write an article. It doesn’t have to be super good. The assignment—is to prepare a structure. This is a job I will definitely do. (By the way, a week ago, I entitled the articles and gave them unique numbers.)
I only write my articles in the afternoon. Therefore, the second taskbar contains a block that says:
So, the task is to write only 400 words. Indeed, I usually write more, but I know that I’m not allowed to write less than 400 words if I don’t have time.
Since everything is obvious, I do all the work that I have described until noon.
Retake a look at the tasks and see for yourself.
No. 4: Send article for translation. (I finished the article yesterday.)
No. 5: Order 3 new articles and send titles (one minute of work).
No. 6: Bigtargetmedia.com, change the text. I will log in to content management myself and change it. Fast.
No. 7: Keyword research; choose 10 keywords. It can take me longer, about an hour.
No. 8: I write short-term “projects,” tasks that don’t repeat daily.
So by noon, the red text on the first bar disappears.
And in the afternoon, I do the tasks listed below, so… I manage to do everything!
Since… I am the most sincere blogger… So I will tell the truth.
This table is not perfect…
The biggest disadvantages
The most significant disadvantage of the all-in-one table is that it takes more than 15 seconds to fill it. Sometimes I fill it for 10 minutes. It sucks. However, because it’s a technical job, it’s worth spending 15 MINUTES (EVEN AN HOUR) TO FORMULATE CLEAR STEPS FOR THE ENTIRE DAY.
Admittedly, there is another disadvantage. You see, in order for the table to work, you should know other rules.
Rule #1. I don’t do any administrative work in the afternoon. And even when someone calls me, I don’t answer the phone. So in the afternoon, I mainly create.
Rule #2. I don’t have Facebook or other social networks on my computer. I only use FB on my phone. Otherwise, it distracts. If you connect to social networks every 5 minutes, the to-do list is unlikely to help you. You will just kill time if you get into TikTok. There are many Alex Monaco videos that will take a looooot of your time. For entertainment, watch these videos on TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@alexmonacolt.
Rule #3. I don’t check my email every 5 minutes. (Only after writing the tasks, because morning emails only affect the processes that will take place the next day, and I manage my projects schedule more than other people.)
Rule #4. If someone decides to make a mistake—come to my office, I tell them, “I’m sorry, I’m busy.” Don’t be angry with me for being so strict; damn it, I have goals more important than blah blah.
Rule #5. After finishing a task, I paint it gray. And it’s no longer noticeable. Then, in the evening, the red color disappears.
Rule #6. If I know that I have little time for tasks today, I assign them to others. This work takes about 10 minutes. It is rare because I like to work. But when I was sick with COVID, I had to assign all the tasks to other people.
Yes, I work every day with all projects, not forgetting about any. So I don’t worry about forgetting something when I go to sleep. I fall asleep like a little baby—hrrrrrrrr hrrrrrr.
Oh yes, all the projects are moving forward daily! And let it be slow, let it be at a turtle pace, but I do a lot during a year because everything is moving at once!
“But this is a very banal table,” will tell me one reader to whom I will give a reason why this table gives a much greater advantage over other to-do list methods.
Why does an all-in-one table work?
1. Since the projects are always listed in the same places, and you don’t even have to “scroll,” it’s easy to understand. And it takes very little time to fill the table.
2. This table gives you peace of mind and 100% clarity. You don’t have to think if you’ve forgotten anything—it’s all here in one sheet that you don’t even need to scroll. There are a lot of time management systems out there where everything seems fine, but the projects don’t fit the screen. You can’t see everything at once there. I tried over 10 different tools online but found nothing simple.
3. Here are all the links related to the projects. For example, in table no. 1, we see a link. By clicking on it, I can find myself in the working file. When I was using different tools, I had to go into the project to “enter inside” the working files, and only then could I click the link. It is not convenient. And here everything is at hand!
4. There are not only business projects on the table. Here are all all the projects I do in my life. Some tasks are on the right, where the words “hairdresser 19:00” appear. It means scissors are waiting. However, there is another table below the table. You don’t see it. There I wrote about recreational activities related to health, travel, body, and food. So the document with a table helps me take control of everything!
“But, Alex, you have project managers and directors work for you! You just need to split the work for project managers, and they will do EVERYTHING for you,” will tell a reader with whom I agree. And in fact, not only project managers work for me. A lot of people work, but I do maaaaaaany projects myself. For example, I write a book myself. I designed my book myself. I designed www.bigtargetmedia.com myself. I wrote the texts myself. And ATTENTION: I myself published texts in Bigtargetmedia through the content management system! Do you think it’s an easy job??? Haha! Think again! I do a lot of work myself, and trust me, it takes time. But I always make it on time! Yes, I am on time because I manage my time. And sometimes I have very little time (which means that I constantly have very little of it), but I do at least a small thing every day. For example, On March 15, I created my own logo for the Bigtargetmedia project. The next day I published it. The day after that I… A smaaaaallllllle project for every day, but a small step is more than anything, right?
That’s why my work never stands still.
Even now, when I am writing one book, I am devoting my time every day to another book, which will be published next year!
Oh yes, I’m writing another book, even though I haven’t published a new one yet… and I can’t forget about it all, because everything is written here!
And I’m also dedicating time to translate Happy Bastards. Yes, the work took a while, but this book is sure to see the world! Slowly but surely!
The all-in-one table ensures the results. Only it helped me write over 100 articles in 300 days! You can find these articles on the website alexmonaco.net!
So I work on at least 10 projects every day.
But I admit that it is all very complicated because the table itself is not enough.
I mean, if you start using the all-in-one table, there is a good chance you will stop after a while… I hope not, but it can happen. Maybe you lose motivation, perhaps something else.
Therefore, it is important not only to know about the all-in-one table but also to motivate yourself!
Even so, it’s important to understand what you really want, what goals you want to achieve, and why. Besides, a lot depends on whether your desire is great.
It makes no sense to think about time management when someone has a vain desire. And when the desire is veeeeeery big, he starts using his brain in his head.
Therefore, the greater the desire, the greater the motivation to solve time management problems.
And because my desires were gigantic, they encouraged me to learn:
a) Think and work structurally.
For example, I always create a clear structure before writing an article. I used to write what came to my head, and I had to rewrite everything repeatedly because there was real confusion.
b) Maintain order.
I will not lie. I’m not tidy at home. Sometimes my desk is overloaded with stuff. But when it comes to text files, I’m the most organized person in the world! It’s hard for me; it’s very hard to get lost between files, even though there are over 1000 folders. It helps me find files extremely quickly, which makes my job easier.
How and why did I create the best all-in-one to-do list?
I tried various to-do list tools. Once, I used to write all my tasks on paper. Or stick notes to the monitor. The problem, however, was that when I left the office, I was losing control because I didn’t have those papers, and I didn’t see the notes on the monitor. I needed a solution that would help when I wasn’t in the office. So I decided to use online tools.
First, I tried Google Calendar. But it was quite complicated—zero convenience. So I started using Trello. Trello has helped for a while. But only with simple tasks. The main problem was that I had too much work to do and they didn’t fit in one window. So I ended up forgetting some projects. When you have to work on so many projects, it constantly feels like you’ve forgotten something. And that causes a lot of anxiety + stress. Because you know some tasks haven’t been done, and you don’t even know which ones.
So I kept looking further… I wanted a good solution. But it wasn’t there, so I said to myself, “I will create my own solution.”
I spent my time on this question every day and still had no solution. But one day, I promised myself, “From now on, I will sit down and create a solution and won’t stop until I find it.”
I drew the first and second solutions. After trying it out, I realized I needed another one. Tick tack tick tack. This is how the all-in-one table was born!
So if you ask yourself, “How to make the most of your day?” I suggest you try my tool. Cheers!
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