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When you write down your things to do (you are writing down your things to do aren’t you?) then you need to keep them front and center at all times. If you put them into your PDA, then checking your PDA daily has to seem like second nature. If you write them onto a sheet of paper, then checking with that sheet of paper should be a daily reflex. If you use an Internet site such as ToodleDo or Nozbe (my two favorites!) then you have to check daily.

The important thing here is to go with what is natural; don’t attempt to change your habits but work with them instead. When someone gives you something to do what do you reach for? If writing down a to-do item takes too much effort, it will be skipped or avoided. If checking your list takes too much effort, you will avoid it.

Once you have your list of things to do, put it into your “trusted system” as David Allen calls it. Don’t leave them hanging out there. This “trusted system” has to be the one you check daily. Putting things into this trusted system also requires habit and requires paying attention to the effort required: make it as effortless as possible – which will reduce or eliminate the tendency to avoid it.

Where possible, use your natural tendencies to make your system work for you; this will make you more productive since you are checking your tasks daily and doing them rapidly.