Why You Need an Appointment for Tough Tasks

Do you have tasks that just don’t get done?  Tasks that you put off?  And then somehow put off some more?

How do you deal with these tough tasks?  The ones that you seem to avoid at all costs.

One powerful technique is to make an appointment to complete them.  This is especially effective for repeating tasks that come back to haunt you time and again.

What Are Your Tough Tasks?

By tough tasks, I am referring to those tasks that you know you need to get done, and even though they are important, they never seem urgent.

These tasks stay on your todo list and cause you stress the longer they sit there.  Many even create more work for you the longer they are undone.

Some examples of tough tasks:

  • Expense Reports – These are the bane of the business world.  These pesky reports haunt people until what should have been a 10 minute task now takes an hour tracking down lost receipts and details.
  • Reading – Reading always seems to get put on the back burner.  How long has that book been sitting on your desk?  Reading, whether for work or pleasure, is a task that is often left undone.
  • Email – Can you keep up with the email flood?  Email, once hailed a productivity savior, has now become one of the leading time management problems at most businesses.
  • Prep Work – Do you prepare for your daily schedule?  Preparing for meetings and appointments is an important task that many people do not get done.

So, how can we get to these tasks?  After all, everything that is urgent (whether important or not), keeps pushing them to the back burner.

Let Your Calendar Help Your Todo List

Most people tend to keep their todo list and calendar as separate entities.  However, they are even more powerful when combined.

Next time you have a tough task that has been haunting you, go ahead and make an appointment with it.  Don’t be afraid to put it right on your calendar.

Make an appointment with that expense report.  Right there, 9AM on Tuesday morning.  Then we someone asks for your time, you can say, “Sorry, I have an appointment.”

By designating a time slot for getting a specific task done, you will prevent less important tasks from line-jumping.

I Will See You at Your Time…

It feels good to schedule tasks.  It gives you a sense of power over them.

“You can’t bother me until this time…and then I will deal with you on my schedule.”

So, let your todo list and calendar be partners.  Make appointments for those tough tasks and they will get done.

Do you make appointments for things your need to get done?

What are the tough tasks that haunt your todo list?

Related articles:

Block Your Time

Tasks Undone Create More Work

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Jason

    Man, this is so true!

  • http://www.marjoleinsflow.nl Marjolein

    Great post! However, I've got another problem… I have such difficulty keeping appointments with myself… Terrible, I know. Must do something about it…

  • http://twitter.com/ClareEvans Clare Evans

    Great idea and one I often recommend. If you've got a list of tasks to do – allocate a time to do them, otherwise your day is more likely to drift by in an unproductive way.

    Check and respond to emails a couple of times a day (if that's appropriate) and set aside time to do it (with a time limit).

    Another way to get tough tasks done is to set up what I call a Massive Action Day – http://ow.ly/22gXe

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  • http://www.smarttimemanagementtips.com/ smarttimetips

    My toughest to-do is to commit to is prep work. I always dread preparing for classes and exams, but regret not preparing when I get there!

    • TMNinja

      @smarttimetips Agreed! Most people don’t bother with the preparation part. :)

      Here is a previous post where I discussed the difference between planning and preparing.

      http://tmninja.us/k6hD03

      Best wishes!

  • http://www.smarttimemanagementtips.com/ smarttimetips

    My toughest to-do is to commit to is prep work. I always dread preparing for classes and exams, but regret not preparing when I get there!

  • TMNinja

    @smarttimetips Agreed! Most people don’t bother with the preparation part. :)

    Here is a previous post where I discussed the difference between planning and preparing.

    http://tmninja.us/k6hD03

    Best wishes!

  • JarodBillingslea

    “Many even create more work for you the longer they are undone.” Wait, I can’t believe I just read that line! It’s so true! Man this makes me wonder if the causes of me being so busy even matters now :@.

  • JarodBillingslea

    “Many even create more work for you the longer they are undone.” Wait, I can’t believe I just read that line! It’s so true! Man this makes me wonder if the causes of me being so busy even matters now :@.

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