Your to-do list can quickly get out of control, if you’re not careful, especially when you’re in business. I’m pretty sure we’ve all fallen foul to an out of control to-do list, at one stage or another! You think about everything you want to do for your business, ideas blossom and you start writing out the things you need to do. And, before you know it, you have a huge list of tasks to do – along with a heavy feeling of demotivation and procrastination.
The problem is, you’re seeing all those things you want to get done as one huge untamed list. It’s going to seem like a huge deal, as there’s no organisation or structure to it. And that will lead to you feeling overwhelmed.
So, if you don’t want to get overwhelmed by it, you’re going to need to tame it down a little. Here’s some tips to help you free up your to-do list, time and headspace.
Get those tasks organised on your to-do list
Start by getting a little order into your list. It always helps to have a digital copy of your list, so you can easily move things around. Stop wasting half an hour each morning rewriting your list, so it looks pretty! Also stop adding items to the bottom that you have already completed just so you can tick them off – yes, we’ve all done that too! Get, organised by establishing the priorities and urgency of each task on your list. It can help to separate tasks into smaller lists – such as home vs work, online vs offline etc.
[If you want a breakdown of the different ways (and tools you can use) to manage and organise your tasks, check out this blog post on the Zapier website – https://zapier.com/blog/task-management-strategies/]
Minimise the tasks on your to-do list
Now go through and get rid of tasks that don’t need to be done, aren’t likely to ever happen or just simply don’t need to be taking up your headspace now. You can create a separate ‘nice to-do’ list for those. Then break all big tasks and projects down into specific action steps, that will help you focus in on those specific actions and/or baby steps needed to complete them.
Batch things together
Group together similar types of tasks, as well as those that use the same tools/software. You can then schedule blocks of time into your calendar to complete them. Not only does this make it easier to organise, it’s also a smarter way of working – as you’re not having to switch focus or move to different equipment etc.
Outsource where you can
Before you start planning when you will complete tasks, look at another type of task that can come off your to-do list – those things you can outsource to someone else. Whether it’s a VA, a colleague or a family member, ask yourself
- Do I need to do this task myself?
- Have I got the time to do this task?
- Can I do this task well?
- Will it take me longer to do than someone who knows more about this?
- Can I outsource this task to someone else?
If in doubt, outsource it! (Not sure what areas of your work you can outsource? Check out this blog post).
Prioritise and schedule
Now you can set up slots of time in your calendar, to complete your tasks. Plan in the most urgent tasks first (those ones that need doing today and/or tomorrow), before scheduling in blocks of time to complete other tasks on your list. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of taking time at the end of each day ready for tomorrow, or in your first 30 minutes of working in the morning, to plan out your tasks for the day ahead.
To-do lists can quickly get out of control, unless you use the tips above to tame them. Not only will these help you organise the tasks on your to-do list, they will also help you free up your time and headspace – by ensuring you’re only focusing on tasks that really do need your attention.
If you’ve realised you can easily outsource some tasks on your to-do list, but haven’t yet got yourself a VA, why not get in touch? Simply head on over to our contact page and either give us a call or fill out the form – and let’s have a chat and see how we can stop some of those tasks stealing your time and focus.
Image courtesy of HayDmitriy/DepositPhotos.com