May 17, 2017

A 3-Step Hack to Mastering Your To-Do List


I knew transitioning from a startup to an agency would have its challenges. I was very eager and welcomed the tasks ahead; I was confident my out-of-the-box thinking and team-first mentality would support me in my new role. That said, onboarding for any new job can be a bit overwhelming. “It’s like drinking out of a fire hose,” someone mentioned my first week. Nevertheless, I prevailed and approaching my 3rd month (excited for my parade).

Now that I am up to speed on our agency’s processes and protocols, I can focus my efforts on providing excellent support and strategic advice to clients like ABC Bakers and Nava Health & Vitality Center. However, one hurdle remains: my timesheets. I’ve never had to track my time in any of my other roles and getting behind on timesheets was not a place I wanted to be in. Spread between three clients, my to-do lists went up to 20-30 tasks daily. With no system of tracking importance and handwriting far from Times New Roman, I knew something had to be done.

As a 3-month advertising industry veteran, I am happy to share my 3-step process for tracking your time and not falling behind on your timesheets:

Timesheet Survival Kit

  • Paper
  • Printer
  • Microsoft Word
  • 1 Green Highlighter
  • 1 Yellow Highlighter
  1. Creating your custom to-do list

How many different projects are you working on? For this example, let’s use three as the magic number.

  • Open Microsoft Word.
  • Create four equal size rectangles (three clients + one section for miscellaneous tasks).
  • Add a text box at the top so you can fill in the date.
  • Print 20 copies.
  1. Using your to-do list

Each morning, I pull out a fresh sheet from my desk, write the date and start filling out my list.

  • Use the yellow highlighter for urgent tasks.
  • Mark completed tasks in green.
  1. Filling out your timesheet

At the end of the day/week, look back through your to-do lists for a record of your tasks. Fill out your time based on the tasks marked in green.

Boom. *drops microphone*