Does your to-do list grow longer each day?
Do you feel lucky if you get just one thing done from your to-do list?
Do you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to start to get things done?
We’ve all been there. You want to get things done but can’t even get started. You just sit there with your head in your hands and wonder what you should tackle first.
That’s what I do. In fact, I do it quite often.
I get so overwhelmed because there is so much to do. I don’t know where to start so I distract myself by doing things that don’t need to be done. Does this sound familiar to you?
You can get things done with less turmoil by making the following four simple changes to your daily schedule:
1. One big project – If you get into the office early, work on a big project first. Very few people get into the office before 8 a.m. so you can have quiet, uninterrupted time to focus on one project.
To be able to get one big project done, or even know which project you’re going to start, you’ll need to identify it the day before. So, at the end of each day, think about what you’ll start with the following morning.
2. Organize your desk – In my office, new projects come to me by either getting put on my desk or being sent through email. From now on, organize everything on your desk so you know what needs to be done.
3. Simple things – Part of sifting through everything on your desk will be identifying projects that can be completed quickly. This type of project might be a report that needs a signature, a report to be reviewed and routed to someone else or something that needs to be filed.
Getting those small things out of the way will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. And, that will keep several items from even being put on your to-do list.
You’ll be getting things done!
4. Pick two – No, this isn’t a lunch special of soup and salad. This is your task list for the remainder of the day. Pick two items from your to-do list to work on that day. If one item is so big that you won’t be able to complete something else, just pick one.
You will get interrupted during the day and other things will come in that need to get done right away. Picking only two items from your to-do list will make it easier to get things done.
After completing those two tasks, you can select other items from the to-do list to work on. And, don’t forget, at the end of the day, select the one big project to work on first thing the next morning.
Get things done
You can follow all sorts of advice in order to get things done. You might even want to read the book Getting Things Done by David Allen for many tips and tricks to increase your productivity.
You can spend a lot of time by focusing on email management, to-do list management, delegation, etc. There’s all sorts of things to do. But, if you’re always spending time on those, when are you going to get things done?
At the end of the day, it’s not time management. You can’t manage time. It’s going to go by minute by minute and hour by hour. Instead, you can manage your priorities to get things done.
Determine your priorities to get things done and you’ll be much more apt to accomplish what you wanted. You will reduce your stress levels and leave at the end of the day feeling more accomplished.
Now, go and figure out what you’re going to work on tomorrow morning!