Photo By: Passion Planner
Juggling a day job, multiple (creative) freelance jobs and (don’t forget) a personal life, things can get overwhelming when you are not organized. Here are some tools I use to keep my life together: calendar, planner, highlighter and (smudge free) pens. For those who know me, I like setting goals and to-lists. It keeps me focused and aligned. I especially enjoy checking things off of my list. I get a sense of gratification putting that check in the box because I meeting goals. On a daily basis, I use these 7 tips (listed above) to conquer my to-do list.
Making a To-DO List
1. Limit list to concrete tasks.
By limiting your task to realistic tasks, you’re more likely to feel less overwhelmed and more likely to accomplish them. So keep your list simple.
2. Assign a priority to each task.
Meeting deadlines is important! If there are tasks that are time sensitive, organize them by priority so you can meet those deadlines.
3. Plan time in schedule for each task.
There are tasks that will require more time than others. By setting time limitations on each task, you can maximize your time during the day, week, and month. When I work on creative projects, I break them down into phases of my creative process. This helps me manage multiple projects at a time. Keeping track of your time will ensure you are working productively and efficiently.
4. Group Tasks by where they’ll be performed. (Office, Home, Errand, etc.)
We all live different lives. I work multiple jobs and have a personal life. Sometimes the daily tasks of every day life can be overwhelming. By grouping your tasks, you can see the overall picture of your day, week, or month.
5. List only as many items as can be realistically accomplished. (In a day, week, etc.)
Try not to overwhelm yourself with ALL the tasks you need to take care of. Be REALISTIC! You want to set yourself up for success. For a big task, if you can, break it up into smaller tasks. For example: I have a friend who is planning to run a half-marathon in the next couple of months. Each week leading to that event, she trains at least 3 days out of the week to prepare herself physically and mentally to run that goal. Most of us can’t just jump in and run a half-marathon. It takes preparation. Set yourself up for success.
6. Cross off or delete completed tasks.
Not only will this make you feel good, but it will also create a momentum of productivity and motivation in your life. I remember my teacher telling me when you create a list of goals (aka a to-list) there is an 80% chance that you will accomplish them. I don’t know if that percentage is entirely accurate; however, I do believe that when you list your goals your already one step closer to accomplishing it. So when you cross tasks off your lists, remember to celebrate those moments and recognize that you accomplished something either big or small.
7. Start new list!
Creating a new list will keep you productive, aligned and motivated. Remember that there will be times when we can’t finish all our tasks. Let’s be REAL, life happens. There are days where I have to check myself and remind myself that there is always tomorrow to take care of things. Reflection is important for improvement. Before I create a new list, I look back and check where I spent most of my time being less productive and make adjustments. Streamlining activities and processes will help improve your productivity and allow you to have more control of your time during the day, week, or month.
I hope this information helps you all when conquering your to-do lists.
Here is sample from Passion Planners. Check them out and download a FREE Passion Planner. You can also purchase a planner to help set your goals.