Heck yeah! Here’s how to finally show your to-do list who’s boss.
Nothing takes the wind out of our sails faster than a seemingly insurmountable to-do list.
There you are, ready to kick butt and take names. But when you see all the things that you should have done yesterday (or the day before, or the day before THAT) and suddenly you feel defeated.
But don’t sweat it, awesome entrepreneur!
Here’s how you can finally show your to-do list who’s boss.
Take the Time to Prioritize
Repeat after us: When everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.
While it seems like every. Single. Thing. On your list is incredibly important, it’s crucial not to fall into this trap.
You don’t need urgency — you need CLARITY.
So, let’s talk about what you really need to get done right now. Choose just three things to focus on (yes, just three). And if one of these items is a big task like, “Find a new accountant,” consider breaking this down into smaller subtasks. You’ll be more organized and far less overwhelmed.
But does that mean that all your other tasks are abandoned? Of course not. After you’ve determined what you need to do today, then you can begin categorizing the other tasks in order of importance.
What can be done tomorrow? What can be bumped to next week? Don’t be afraid to move things around on your to-do list. (BTW, one of our fave tools, Trello, is a great, drag-n-drop solution for prioritizing your to-do list.)
Heads Down, Phones Off
Now that you know which tasks you absolutely must do today, the next step sounds obvious: You actually need to DO these things. However, with so many potential interruptions and distractions, this can be incredibly difficult.
The thing is, your best work often comes from a flow state where you’re utterly focused on the task and in tune with your abilities. But you can’t get to the all-important flow state if you’re being distracted.
Removing yourself from a noisy environment is great, but don’t stop there. Put your phone on silent and turn off your alerts — we promise they’ll be there when you get back from your focus session.
Lather, Rinse… Reevaluate
Conquering your to-do list isn’t a one-time thing. If you want to keep up with your goals, regular maintenance is critical.
As time passes, the things that you moved to the “Next Week” pile will inevitably need to be done today, and so on. The key here is to get yourself in the habit of prioritizing your tasks, instead of letting them overwhelm you.
Consider taking some time at the start of every week to review and reset your priorities. Even ten minutes of focused consideration could do great things for your efficiency and your peace of mind.
Taming your to-do list may seem impossible, but your mindset matters a lot here. It’s not just about white-knuckling your way through this.
You deserve to feel like you’re working toward your big goals, and getting control of your to-do list is a big part of that.
So set yourself up for success by prioritizing effectively, giving yourself real work time, and staying mindful of your changing priorities. It’ll be easier than ever to go from frantic to cool, calm, and collected.
About Feliza David, Creative Director
Think of Feliza as LEAP’s very own Don Draper, except without the hard partying. (The only thing she binges on is Netflix.) From tool reviews to learning modules to eye-catching graphics, Feliza probably had her hand in it.
She loves LEAP because:
Feliza lives in Indiana with her husband, two dogs, one cat, and the occasional goldfish. When she’s not writing, drawing, or reading, she’s probably sleeping.