These days we are faced with so many tasks we need to complete and so little time. There are never enough hours in the day. This can lead to burnout, procrastination, and an overall lack of focus.
Never fear, task lists are here! These can be both helpful and daunting. But they don’t have to be the latter.
Try these eight ways to knock out your to-do list!
Sort your list. Go through each line item and group tasks that are alike. This will allow you to complete multiple similar tasks efficiently.
Organize your list by priority. Complete the most pressing tasks first. This will relieve the pressure of the most important tasks and alleviate the stress of needing to complete them among all your other tasks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can follow the two-minute rule. If a task is expected to take less than two minutes, go ahead and complete it so you can cross it off the list. It won’t take much time and you can cross it off your list.
Break bigger tasks into smaller tasks. We tend to dread the larger tasks. They seem more daunting and time consuming than smaller tasks leading us to want to avoid starting them. The goal here is to take your tasks and break them down so they feel easier to accomplish. Sometimes when we have this huge project, it can be overwhelming leaving us clueless on where to begin. Breaking down the project allows you to identify a starting point so you can get to work. Once the larger tasks are completed, the smaller ones will be a piece of cake!
Set deadlines. Go task by task and set realistic deadlines. Having a date, you want or need to complete a task by will create a sense of urgency and motivate you to complete it.
Outsource when you are able. This is where we have to release our inner control-freak and let go the reigns a little. If there are tasks that can be completed by a third party, outsource them. This frees up time for you to work on tasks that cannot be outsourced or larger projects you have coming down the pipe.
Utilize a task management tool. There are so many out there such as Asana, Trello, or Monday, just to name a few. While some people will always love the old school pen and paper, there are many options for digital task lists. Do a little research to see what works best for you and what product has the features that are most beneficial.
Focus on one task at a time and see it through to completion. While we all love to multi-task, focusing solely on one project will allow you to complete it quickly. See it through to completion so that you can check it off your list and move onto the next task.
Take breaks to avoid burnout. Grab a cup of coffee. Go for an afternoon walk. Phone a friend. Working without breaks can cause mental exhaustion leading to difficulty focusing and lack of interest in completing tasks. Take a few moments to step away from work. The goal is to come back to your project feeling refreshed and ready to focus again.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming more efficient in time management and work completion.