Are you using a To Do list to keep on track? How many items do you have on it? Do you have everything on there, including the kitchen sink?
If so, then stop it! A To Do list that has more than a few items is showing that you have either confused quality with quantity OR you are simply using it as a form of self-torture. Stop beating yourself up. Seriously. If you are anything like me, you already have a ton of negative self-talk going on. Setting yourself up for failure by having a crazy long To Do list amounts self-abuse.
How do you get your out-of-control To Do list back under control. Just a handful of simple steps are necessary.
How to Get Your To Do List Under Control:
First: Do a brain dump of all the items on a piece of paper. If you have a big task, break out the first step and put them together.
Second: Assign a grade to each one. Urgent or Very Important to Not Urgent or Unimportant.
Third: The night before, prioritize the top three to five things you need to accomplish the next day.
Fourth: Write those top tasks down, with the most important to be done first.
Fifth: Shove the brain dump list into a drawer somewhere.
Sixth: Start on the most important item first thing in the morning, before you even check your email.
Side note 1: If you happen to finish your top three items before the end of your work day, feel free to go and get another item off the brain dump list and work on it.
Side note 2: A task should take no more than 1-2 hours to complete. If it is bigger than that, it is a project and should be broken down into smaller pieces.
To get a handy form to keep your To Do list and day on track, just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy.