The most stressful moment of your day has come, and it’s time to look at your ever growing to-do list. The words start to blur, and you can feel your blood pressure rising. We know exactly how you feel, and we are here to help. In fact, you can make your to do list shorter just by reading this article. Abra-ca-dabra!
- Take a moment to catch your breath.
I find myself getting overwhelmed just looking at my task list some days. Take a step back, or five, and take a moment to ground yourself. Once you have a clear head, it’s easier to focus on the things ahead in your day. It’s hard to center yourself when you’re busy, but it’s key to getting things done and not getting too stressed about it.
- Focus on what YOU do best, delegate the rest.
One of the fastest ways to check a bunch off your to do list is to enlist help. If someone on your team can pitch in, great. Everyone’s good at something, so figure out who can do what the best, and assign tasks accordingly. Notice the little things that take up your time, and see if you can delegate them elsewhere to focus on the stuff that really matters to you.
- Schedule things with a specific time in mind.
I don’t know about everyone else, but the Clever Tiger team definitely feels more motivated to accomplish things that are on a set schedule with a specific timeframe. It’s all about setting clear expectations. Hey, you really need to get that thing done, and look! It needs to be done by 7pm. Now isn’t that more likely to drive you to action than just saying it needs to be done sometime this week?
- Don’t focus on busywork.
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of what we call “productive procrastination.” You’re not using your time efficiently unless you know your priorities and act accordingly. If you’re finding yourself working on things that really aren’t critical in order to low-key avoid what you really should be doing, your to-do list will never, ever become manageable. Identify your targets, and knock them out. Then do the fun stuff, or what we like to refer to as the “dessert projects.” You don’t get dessert unless you eat your dinner!
- Every time you knock something out, add it to your “done” list.
Personally, the days when I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing are the worst days. Does anyone else ever feel like they work for hours on end but get nothing done? Gain some momentum by acknowledging your wins. Keep track of what you’ve done and watch your list of accomplishments grow. Revel in the satisfaction when it’s finally longer than your to-do list.
We’re big fans of delegating. In fact, one of our favorite sayings is “don’t deal, delegate.” It’s better in the long run to let people do what they’re good at, and focus on doing your own best work. Make your to-do list shorter, and help others do the same, with the above advice. We learned this stuff the hard way, so hopefully you don’t have to. We’re here for you when need an outside team to knock things out for you and clear up your schedule. Now get going!