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Fran's Tips: How to Be More Productive Starting Today

The host of Home Rules shares strategies for writing and completing to-do lists.

Ever seen someone who's soooooo busy yet they never seem to get anything done? That's because they're mired in activity but haven't a clue about productivity. Activity – or as I like to call it, "busy-bodiness," is just that. It's you, running around with a to-do list as long as a 1975 Cadillac but not really ever completing any tasks to your satisfaction.

That stops today. Here's how to go from hyperactivity to laser productivity in one fell swoop.

Home Rule #1: Make a "Get Done" List
To start out, you're only going to put five items on this list a day. No more. Your list should be a mixture of “easies” and “biggies.” In other words, don't put five overwhelming to dos on this list. You're not likely to write a 200-page book in a day, so why are you putting it on your list? Don't.

Home Rule #2: Prioritize Your "Get Done" List
Place a number from 1-5 next to each item, with the lowest number coinciding with level of importance.

Home Rule #3: Set a Time to Complete Each Item
For instance, if your Get Done #3 is to create a video for your blog, block out 1-1:30 p.m. to create your 7-minute blog. Why block out 30 minutes for a 7-minute video? Because you'll need time to re-record if you mess up or to upload to your site or to e-mail the vid to your webmaster.

Home Rule #4: Alert the Troops
You need to tell your roommates, spouse, kids and others about your new system so that they don't become distractions for you.

Home Rule #5: Stick With It
Put this plan into action this week and stay the course for at least 30 days until it becomes an actual system. And don't be afraid to tweak it and finesse it so that it fits your life.

Remember, just because you're busy doesn't mean you're getting things done. Dial it back. Make a list. Stay focused, and watch how much more productive you become.

Here's a virtual high five to get you going!

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