Is your ‘to do list’ making you unproductive?

How many items are there on your ‘to do list’? Are there 5, 10, 50 or more? Feeling overwhelmed? Your ‘to do list’ is most likely causing you stress and you’re probably procrastinating because you don’t know where to start. Sound familiar to you?

The biggest problem with ‘to do lists’ is that they are just a list and they lack the detail you need to help you to work out when and how you’ll be able to get things done. What hope have you got of ticking things off the list if you don’t know if you even have the time to do them?

Here are some tried and tested steps to help you turn your ‘to do list’ into your ‘done list’…

Prioritise

Start by prioritising your list. Up top should be the things that you’re going to get the most return from for your business. Actions you need to take to build your business are often forgotten because you have too many more urgent things to do in a day.

Make sure your priorities include the big things, like business development and planning, that may take more time, not just the little things you can tick off your list quickly.

Be ruthless

Let’s face it, there are going to be some items on your list that are just never going to get done.  Be ruthless and just get rid of them. Are there any items on the list that you can delegate or outsource? You need to be focussing on the big stuff, so how can you outsource the small stuff to free up your time to tackle your priorities?

Be realistic about time

There are 24 hours in a day and you’ve got a lot to fit in. On top of work, you have to fit in commuting, family, eating, exercising, sleeping etc. When you break it down, this doesn’t leave you much time to get through your never-ending list. Have a look at your priority tasks and estimate the time it will take to complete each task.

Schedule everything

Once you’ve worked out your priorities and have an idea of how much time you need to complete your key tasks, you need to schedule them into your day and week. Start by blocking time on Sunday night or Monday morning to schedule your week and review your schedule each day. Schedule all your priorities including the time you need to exercise and have meals. Once it’s in your diary, you need to stick to it. Review your schedule at the beginning and end of the day and reflect on how productive you’ve been. 

Taking these steps will make you more productive and take away some of the unnecessary stress. Now all you have to do is get started.