In today’s world many of us have an endless list of things to do and are feeling overwhelmed by our to-do list. Usually, we cope by doing only our most urgent tasks (not most important) and put the rest off until tomorrow.
This approach only adds to the problem and pretty soon you stop noticing the tasks that have been sitting on your list for weeks or even months!
What’s important to realize is that your list will be most effective when it’s used to help you stay organized in your day to day life and focused on your highest level tasks. These high level tasks are the ones that are in alignment with your priorities and will move you closer to your goals.
Here are 5 tips to help you organize your list and stop feeling so overwhelmed by it:
1. Prioritize your to-do list daily
Your priorities can shift from day to day, so it’s essential to prioritize your to-do list regularly. Use the guidelines below to structure your list:
- Separate important tasks vs. not important (important = aligned with your goals and priorities)
- Separate into categories of things to do:
- Now = within 2 days
- Soon = within a week
- Later = > 1 week (assign due dates to these tasks)
2. Focus on your top 3 tasks each day
If you are feeling overwhelmed often, try focusing only on your top 3 tasks each day. This is a great strategy for managing your to-do list and getting your most important things done consistently. It’s best to add your 3 tasks to your daily calendar and assign specific times to each one. Things to consider when scheduling are the ideal time of day and the length of time to complete. Also, it’s a good idea to add at least 50% more time than you think you’ll need to avoid running out of time.
3. Have a strategy to deal with procrastination
Procrastination is something we’ve all experienced at one time or another. The reasons are varied and can range from a lack of interest to feeling overwhelmed. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that certain things must be done. That said, here is my number one tip for procrastination: The next time you are procrastinating about starting something, set a timer for 10 minutes and begin working on the task. If you give yourself permission to stop after the time has elapsed, oftentimes, you’ll have the inspiration to keep going. Try it — it really works!
4. Find an accountability partner
When you are accountable to someone, your chances of accomplishing what you set out to do increase significantly. Sharing your goals with each other and checking in once a week to review tasks accomplished and tasks to be completed is ideal.
5. Keep a separate list for “things not to forget”
Many people put things they don’t want to forget on their to-do list. Some of these things are not necessarily important and we just put them there because we may be interested in doing them in the future. Try keeping these types of things on a separate list and review it every couple of weeks. This will help to ensure you won’t forget anything, while shortening your to-do list.
Are you ready to get some help to banish overwhelm from your business life? Contact me today for a 30 minute complimentary consultation.