Have you completed your to-do list yet? Or does the list keep growing? How is it that our to-do’s simply keep growing? Let me tell you how I finally overcame my To-Do list.
Friday is coming around, and I feel happy to be done with work right? But I might be done with work-work, but as the weekend is approaching I have all these things to deal with that I just couldn’t get done during the week, because, you know … work.
Or perhaps you just didn’t get all your tasks done at work and now you’re considering working overtime in order to catch up.
Either way, if you’ve ever had a long to-do list you know how extremely overwhelming it can feel looking at the never-ending to-do’s. And the overwhelm tends to lead to you pushing it off, and procrastinating even more, and the list ends up growing!!
This used to be the for me issue with my to-do’s. And when I discovered a better way to approach my never-ending list, by adopting these two strategies that I’m about to share with you, my whole experience with getting things done completely changed.
First of all, I’ll say this, and I’m sure you’ve heard me say this many times before: You can do anything, not everything, at the same time. So by knowing what to focus on it becomes easier to take the first step. Looking at your list, see what stands out as the most important. What do you REALLY need to get done today? What are the 2-3 tasks that are the most important today? If you could only get 2-3 things done today, and those were the tasks, you’d be ok.
Here’s the next thing, start by working backwards. You know what you need to do, now define what the outcome is, what the outcome should look like. I’ll give you an example: Work on my web design … Whenever I see that on my to-do I start sweating … It’s just so overwhelming, it’s an never-ending task – to me at least. It’s NOT specific enough!
So what I do is to define the outcome. Based on the timeframe given, what’s the outcome that I’m aiming to achieve today?
Perhaps it’s; publish the 3 new graphics elements, or integrate the newsletter sign up, or it’s editing the two specific posts. By defining the outcome it becomes easier for me to make sure it gets done – it allows you to see what REALLY needs to get done and you’ll know if it’s done or not.
I call this having an outcome list instead of having a to-do list.
It’s said that you can work on a project. You work on tasks that belong to the project and once completed lead to a completed project.
How do you eat an half a ton award winning Atlantic Giant Pumpkin? In pieces, of course.
So for any task that you can’t clearly define its outcome, you need to chunk it down into smaller tasks, and then work on those tasks, one at a time. And again, if the task can’t be broken up into smaller chunks, you can consider setting a time limit on the task. Say giving yourself 20 min to research every day for 5 days.
Defining that outcome is going to help you feel completed and know that it’s truly done. It sets you up for success by defining what success looks like. Pick the top 2-3 tasks to complete, and define the outcome, work on them and do not allow any other task to be worked on until you’ve completed all three tasks. Once you’ve done that, you can add 1 or two more tasks in the same way as with the original 3 tasks. Handling my tasks in this manner really changes what I got done, and the experience I had while working on my task-list.
If you are ready to change the way you are handling your task list and go from inaction to being IN ACTION, then you will want to take a look at my free 3-part video course that I created to help people get unstuck and to stop procrastinating. Go to adamkawalec.com/unstuck, that’s adam K A W A L E C .com/unstuck.
Leave me a comment and share your experience with your to-do’s. Do you have another great system to get things done? Please share your thoughts and experiences.