If your to-do list is looking more like your mounting laundry, you aren’t unlike most who have imposing lists, near-constant flow of new to-dos, finite time and that overwhelming feeling of flailing in a sea of Post-Its. Many people logically approach those lists in order of priority; however, logic may not be the best solution. According to organizational experts, the “top priorities” should be set aside in favor of a more unconventional approach.
Asking a few simple questions can help you get started with ease. What are my limitations on time and resources? If you don’t have time to tackle that all-important report, don’t start it. If you don’t have the reports to complete the spread sheets, don’t start them. Instead, choose to-do list items that you can complete with the time and tools available.
E-mail Can Wait
While we all have pressing e mail to attend to, we also have things there that will inadvertently occupy more time than they warrant, and time is the double-edged sword when it comes to getting things done. Consider pulling out two items on your e mail list to complete in your top five to-do items.
At this point, with a few things checked off the list, come back to those top priorities and choose three to tackle according to time, resources and order of importance. With a few things out of the way, you will have more momentum to make progress on the remaining items instead of feeling overwhelmed.
End of Day
Don’t automatically move all undone items to the next day’s list. This will only feed feelings of failure. Choose the most important five things from the previous day’s list to move to the current day’s list, but do this the night before. Having time to literally sleep on it, will increase your comfort level and enable success the next day. Good luck!