“Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.”
This quote couldn’t be more accurate! Have you ever started your day without a plan and ended up bouncing around from task to task like a chicken with your head cut off? Been there. Done that.
Today I'm sharing 5 tips that have helped me tackle my to-do list. I'm confident they can help you as well!
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with everything we need to get done, personally and professionally, it's easy to get distracted and wind up getting nothing accomplished. When you are feeling like this, the best thing to do is sit down for 30 minutes and do a brain dump. Yep, an old school brain dump. Don't overthink it. There is no right or wrong – pen and paper, app, Word doc – whatever works for you.
- Jot down all of the tasks that come to mind.
- Next, take each of those items and if possible, break them down into small tasks that can be done in a short period of time.
Prep the Night Before
Organizing your priorities the night before will save you time in the morning from figuring out the logistics of how your day is going to go. It’s essential to wake up with a purpose so you don’t get distracted by other things that come up – and you know by now, they WILL come up.
Prioritize your list. Think about what will be the best use of your time. Select no more than 3 items that will bring you closer to a bigger goal.
Bonus points: Plug them into your calendar so they don’t disappear into the ethers.
This can be a tough one. Refrain from checking social media or your inbox. This can be a big source of wasted time; schedule time to do these activities instead. Log out of all of your accounts and shut your phone off if you have to.
Remember to take breaks along the way to avoid burnout, especially on larger projects. Many people use the Pomodoro technique successfully.
Do the Toughest Task First
If you put off the hardest task until the end of the day, you are more likely to procrastinate and not meet your deadline. That is why it’s good to do the more difficult or time heavy tasks first. The added bonus is that the feeling of accomplishment will get your motivation pumped for the rest of the day!