We are 7 months in the year 2017 and we’re all vowing to get more things done in this remaining year. Or maybe get the same amount of things done, but faster!
Whether you like it or not, to-do lists are the answer. But not aimless, rambling, vague to-do lists. What you need is a concise, actionable, prioritized to-do list.
Here’s how you make one.
1} Write out everything that you need and want to get done this week.
2} Break every list item down to specific, actionable tasks.
For example, “launch new product,” would become,
“1) photograph product,
2) create product page,
3) draft launch email,
4) publish and push out product launch assets.”
3} Prioritize prioritize prioritize. Ask yourself, does this task absolutely need to be done by me specifically, today?
4} You’ll likely answer yes if the task is due very soon, if other tasks depend on its completion, and/or if your skill-set, knowledge, and responsibilities require that you personally do it rather than someone else. This may also include things that you need to do for your personal happiness and sanity. These go into today’s To-Do list.
5} If the answer is no, it goes into the Wait or Delegate bucket. These are your “would be nice” to-do tasks that you can dip into if you complete all of your priority tasks way ahead of schedule. Keep this list separate but nearby.
6} As you go through the week, ask yourself the same question at the start of each day. Your Wait or Delegate tasks will move over into your daily To-Do list as they become priority tasks.
Simplify ruthlessly. Eliminate and delegate the unnecessary tasks. Try to select only a few must-do tasks for each day. If you complete them with time to spare, then you can make headway on your Wait or Delegate list. I’d advocate for occasionally just taking the rest of the day off-- keep you fresh, motivated, and efficient.