Do you add so many tasks to your to do list that it becomes unruly? Many people have this challenge, especially with so much pressure to do more in less time.
Most people keep up (or try to keep up) with urgent activities, such as client related deadlines, internal deliverables, or follow up from meetings. If you have a hard deadline, you’re more likely to get it done.
Items that are important but not urgent can fall through the cracks, especially when you have a boatload of deadlines. These actions include things such as planning, keeping in touch with key people, or networking.
Creating consistency and fine tuning the topic can make a huge difference in how you accomplish these things. You get stuck because the activity goes on your to do list (usually without a deadline) and is too broad in scope.
Let’s take “planning”—it’s too big and amorphous. Instead, for example, think about “daily planning”. You can take five minutes at the end of your work day to identify the top one, two, or three things that you want to accomplish tomorrow. You’ll be more focused for the next day and likely to be more productive as a result.
You might keep in touch with key people by contacting one person a day or three people a week. You can commit to taking one networking action every week. Put these activities as recurring activities in your calendar, and you’ll likely have more success than watching them drift to the bottom of an overburdened to do list.
The key is consistency. Start small to gain momentum, and before you know it you will have accomplished more and feel like you’re in control of what’s important to you, rather than feeling hostage to your to do list.
Have a great day!