Want to know how to tackle your daily tasks and accomplish meaningful results?
Where you go from not allowing the amount of your work to overwhelm you. To stop missing deadlines and have people chase you. If you want to accomplish meaningful results then you need to learn how to master your to-do list and not allow your to-do list to master you. What you need is a system and some structure, together with self-discipline to help you break down tasks and eliminate that daunting feeling.
Which leads me to know who I want to be. If I aim to be patient, kind, grateful, encouraging and understanding when things don’t go to plan or my to-list seems daunting and exhausting. I can schedule time into my to-do list to pray and spend time asking God how I can be joyful, loving and faithful, even when things don’t turn out how I had planned.
One of the missed women in the bible is Martha, known for always being busy. It reminded me of myself and how I tackle my to-do list at times. We often get so caught up in our responsibilities and tasks, that we neglect our relationships with others. I think Martha was a bit of a girl boss. Can you relate to that? Including how like her, we all have fallen into the comparison trap. With someone more successful or glamourous or more organised than ourselves. Where we slip away from seeking God’s approval and look for praise from others.
- I love this statement, ‘stay in your own lane in life’, because it helps me to mind what isn’t my business and keep my priorities straight.
- More importantly, it can prod you to recognise when you should pause, take a break and stop worrying.
- Above all, we should seek God’s approval before anything else.
- And not follow Martha’s concern about what everyone else is doing or not doing.
- Be assured that your accomplishments are due to God granting you the resolve to be strong, wise and anticipative because you sought His confirmation to your plans first.
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1 | Create an effective to-do list
Is your to-do list effective? Most of us would love the perfect to-do list. In reality it is quite the opposite.
- What you need to determine is what works for you. I could offer you my best solutions, but it might not suit your working methods.
- Effectiveness comes when you gather a simple system that helps you plan your tasks, time and day. Then build on that.
2| Plan your day
Does your day take over your outlined plan or do you stick to your outlined plan for the day?
- I have seen people flying around with post-it notes in their hand and call that their to-do list.
- While it might work sometimes, planning your day ahead with a planning tool and productivity methods. This will definitely stop you rushing around chasing tasks because you already have your written schedule sketched out in your mind, and can tackle any unforeseen task calmly.
3| Practice the Ivy Lee Method to prioritise how to be successful
The Ivy lee Method is over a century old but still works like clockwork. And Ivy Lee knew that productivity is key if you want to master tasks.
- His method outlines writing six tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow, then place them in priority order.
- When you begin tomorrow, work methodically through each task until finished, then repeat for each of the rest.
- Some days you might accomplish more, other days you might have to carry tasks over to the following day.
- A new habit begins as you start to repeat the same method every day.
4| Recognise the importance of due dates
The main problem with tackling a to-do list is that if you never commit to one task at a time, you will become distracted by everything.
- It is better to allocate five to fifteen minutes of complete focus to one task, rather than multi task.
- When emergency tasks arrive, or your attention is required immediately. Pause, set a time to deal with this and then return to the original to-do list.
- Many professionals fail to accomplish tasks on their to-do list, because they set out objectives or goals that require achieving. You need to break down every goal into manageable tasks and then set a due date for each.
- An example is writing a book. To say you will publish a book in one year is a goal, how you get there from your opening introduction to marketing plan is breaking your goals into assigned tasks with due dates within the time frame of one year.
5| Make revision of your to-do list a fun task
Revising your to-do list will become commonplace. Maybe you are wondering why the Ivy Lee Method is a recommended method. This is not the only recommendation that could be practiced.
- There are other methods such as Warren Buffet’s 25-5 Rule for productivity. Where you split your career goals into two lists. Buffet’s Rule allows you to write your top 25 career goals, then scrap 20 and focus on 5 until you are successful.
- This might not seem appealling to everyone. But, I think it can improve your focus to acknowledge what is important to you. The more focused you become, the easier it will be to notice what is unnecessary and eliminate those tasks.
- Or aim to succeed at the top 5 then keep moving through the other 20.
6| To-do lists should be for tasks not goals
One thing I am learning is that consistency and focus is necessary as a priority for success.
- Imagine how difficult it would be to become a professional athlete if you are constantly trying to gain the skills and capabilities of 10 different sports.
- This mindset can be applied to any field, because self-improvement is all about devising a system.
- Then support your system with a structure, tools and self-discipline to tackle each task – one by one.
- And keep going when your momentum diminishes or the odds seem against you.
7| To-do list apps that boost productivity
I am a great believer in writing things down, it seems more concrete and holds you accountable. However, there are numerous proficient apps to create and manage your tasks in.
Here are a few suggestions which offer you the paperless solution to organisation. Mastering your to-do list is definitely something that you have to keep working on through trial and error. Adapting methods until you find what is ideal or foolproof for you.
8| Apply the 1-3-5 Rule for effective techniques
Dealing with interruptions and emergencies should be scheduled into your day. You might not have an exact time for when this occurs, but you can map this provision into the design of your day. I utilise the 1-3-5 Rule, as it helps me to unearth a productivity streak.
- Distinguish whether you are you an early bird or a night owl?
- Organise your day with – 1 huge task, 3 medium tasks and 5 smaller tasks, that you choose how to manage – based on your levels of concentration and fatigue.
- Starting with the biggest task, then working on the smaller ones works some days. And on others the reverse might work better.
- It could lead you to discover other productivity techniques to continually improve your personal growth such as The 4 hour Week by Tim Ferris
- Or gain the ability to add more tasks to your list.
9| Simple tricks to being methodical
Batching similar tasks together is much like habit stacking. When you are unsure, think of how important a task is if you don’t deal with it.
- Determine how long a task will take you to complete and will it get worse if you don’t tackle it right now, then prioritise.
- The benefit is once you become an expert at managing your to-do list you can use if for everything – your projects, health goals, management of habits. The list is endless.
- In time you will end up with a love to-do list where there are some tasks you absolutely love doing.
- Keep a record of your accomplishments at the end of each day helps you account for how much you have successfully tackled on your done to-do list. Including the urgent, important, emergencies and unplanned tasks.
The bottom line of initiating and mastering a meaningful to-do list is to extend your productivity and realise how much this affects you, your team and others as a whole. The biggest waste of time in an office environment is the use of social media and browsing websites unrelated to work. Additionally office socialising, unproductive meetings, personal calls and long lunch breaks can disrupt a planned to-do list. When you design your day with a methodical and structured to-do list, you can factor in time for the non-related work matters that do not fall under emergencies or unplanned. Ensuring your employer or clients notice your reliable measures to maximise your time and energy. Leading to a more savvier you – so that you own your to-do list!
Share your thoughts…
How do you move away from distractions and not allow your hectic schedule to keep you from accomplishing your to-do list?