Do you find yourself feeling stressed out because you have too many things to do? After all, there are unlimited tasks to finish for work, things to complete around your home, and activities you want to do with your family or friends.
How can you do it all? Just the thought of it all some weeks can feel so daunting.
This week’s topic is one that is so relevant for me personally and something I have been continually working on and improving upon for a few years now….getting weekly to-dos accomplished! I have tried countless strategies that I have either read in books, learned about in podcasts, or gotten from advice given to me by others.
If you experience that all-too-familiar feeling of drowning in your to-do list more often than not, maybe it’s time to try some new approaches.
The following strategies are those I have sifted through and found that work best and most effectively for me. These strategies will enable you to accomplish more of what you want each day:
1. Think “balance.” Consider that you’re awake roughly 16 hours daily. Segmenting your day into percentages and then following your plan will help you achieve balance in your activities.
- For example: “I will work 50% (8 hours) of my waking hours tomorrow. Twenty-five percent (4 hours) of my time, I’ll spend with my family. I’ll paint the bedroom in the other 25%.”
- Although achieving balance isn’t always easy, working toward that goal will improve your life immensely.
2. Each evening, reflect on tomorrow. Sometime before bed, think through the next day. Be proactive by thinking about what tomorrow might bring so you don’t feel so overwhelmed when it arrives. This helps me rest more peacefully when I turn out the lights, feeling mentally prepared for my next day.
- Where will you be? For how long?
- Who will you be with?
- Decide which tasks you’ll work on the following day.
3. Create a to-do list. Call it what you want: a to-do list, action plan, priority list…but a list of things that you want to accomplish enables you to collect those scattered bits of thoughts that you keep going over and over in your mind. With a list, you can focus better on each task as you do it rather than being distracted by details of many tasks. I know my brain would explode if I didn’t keep a running list of tasks I needed to complete each week.
- You’ll feel less stressed when you have a list. Checking off your accomplishments feels great and compels you to continue focusing on your tasks.
4. Write down your long-term goals. Place them where you can view them as you plan each day. This way, you can include some tasks that will contribute to the eventual accomplishment of your overall goals. Your passion for your goals will burn brightly.
5. Avoid overwhelming yourself with too many tasks. Circle the three tasks on your list that are the most important and start on them early in the day. Ensure that you accomplish these priority tasks. I learned this in a book I highly recommend reading, The One Thing.
6. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in the time allotted. Avoid setting yourself up for failure. Divide bigger jobs into several smaller tasks to more accurately estimate your time. Being an eternal optimist and always thinking I can get more accomplished in a day than is feasible, this strategy has been one of the most difficult for me to harness, and I am still working on doing so.
- For example, rather than say, “Write a 50-page e-book,” you could state something like, “Complete the outline of a 50-page e-book.” Then the next goal may be “Write chapter 1.”
7. Evaluate your progress throughout the day. If you want to go further on a task than what you had planned, consider how doing so will affect your ability to get started on your other things to do that day. Be confident about your decision whether to continue or move on.
Follow these tips and you’ll enjoy greater accomplishments in all areas of your life. Achieve the successful results you seek and feel great about your accomplishments each week as you make more time to do what you really want to do!
For more tips on this topic, check out another blog post I have about 9 Hacks to Having a More Organized Life.
I hope these strategies are beneficial for your productiveness and I would love to hear your comments below on how they are working out for you. Keep pushing forward, my friends!