How many times have you had a to-do list a mile long but didn’t get anything accomplished? Too many? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve totally been there too!
To the point where I’ve literally stared at the tasks on my perfectly color-coded pages but taken zero action. Yikes.
Thankfully, those unproductive moments have also taught me little tricks for switching gears, creating a better to do list, being more effective, and actually getting things done in just a few easy steps.
So now I’m breaking them down and sharing them with you! Here we go:
#1 – Prioritize.
Let’s face it, you can’t do everything in 24 hours. But who knows, maybe you’re superwoman and can – (ahem, on 37 cups of coffee and no sleep).
Get out your planner (seriously, do it), take a look at your list, and review each item individually. First identify those that are “time-bound” – i.e.: what needs to be done today, tomorrow and so on. Then re-order your list according to what needs to be done when. The items that need to be done today are “priority tasks”. Denote them as such and make sure everything else has a given deadline or target completion date, too.
#2. Break it up.
When your to do list is pages and pages long, you become paralyzed by how much you have to do and have a tendency to get nothing done instead, right?
Think: What can I realistically accomplish in a single day?
Try not to overwhelm yourself. I generally like to go by the “Rule of 3”; Each day of my to do list is made of 3 priority items and the rest are non-priority, or can be forwarded to the next day.
#3. Be specific!
This is crucial! For example, you won’t be able to cross off “clean the house” until you’ve physically cleaned the house from top to bottom (at least in my world – and yes, that includes dusting!) so this would inevitably stay on my list for days and drive me nuts in the process. Instead, be specific by rewording tasks to say things like “mop the kitchen floor” or “wash the guest room sheets”.
By being precise you can actually cross more things off your list in less time and wind up feeling a whole heck of a lot more accomplished. Check out this guest post we had recently all about the power of ‘done’.
Remember, your to do list is more than just a ‘list’ – it’s an action guide! Make the most of it and you’ll be well on your way to achieving better daily productivity.
Give the above 3 steps a try and let us know what happens! You’ve got this.