Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Ok, we have all been there. Whether you are a corporate executive, business owner, entrepreneur, mompreneur, or homepreneur - we all have our to-do lists. Most of us have tried a variety of methods but have not been able to lock down the secret sauce of getting it done – consistently. We get excited about a new method, and go full court press into that process for a few weeks, but it just doesn’t stick. The transition from excitement to habit just doesn’t happen. Well, I promise, it doesn’t have to be that way and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some tips for how you can master that to-do list and a free tool to help you get there.
Your planner and to-do list are the perfect partnership. Too often our to-do list is separate from our planner. Here is the deal, what gets scheduled – gets done. I know for me, I would have beautiful and organized to-do lists and the best intentions for the day. However, I was not visually tying my to-dos to my reality. That meant a packed and scheduled out day, and on top of that a massive to-do list – that was, until I started incorporating my to-do list into my planner.
Plan tomorrow today. This is probably one of the best things you could do for your personal productivity. Face it, even the best of plans can be derailed. Before leaving your desk for the day, or before turning out the lights, take 5-10 minutes to plan tomorrow. This give you an opportunity to note any schedule changes and move forward any to-dos that didn’t get done. It also helps provide a sense of calm and purpose the next morning, as it mentally prepares you for the day ahead.
Pick 5. This is critical. A large to do list is overwhelming. An unprioritized list, even more so. Your daily top 5 should be prioritized and more importantly, balanced. My recommendation is 1 big item, 2 medium items and 2 small/fast items. The secret sauce is to plan the day’s to-do based on the tasks and available time scheduled for that day, giving you a visual of your day and what you realistically can accomplish. No time for 5? What can you do?
Identify your time vampires. My biggest time vampire is travel time. For example, I have meetings a few times a month that are a minimum 1.5 hour commute each way. If I didn’t note travel time in my calendar, it would look like I had an extra 3 hours in that day. What are your time vampires? What is your strategy for mitigating their impact on your day? Are you adjusting your to-do list expectations for those days?
Use tools to turn off distractions. There are many options when it comes to tools. Apps like BeFocused or Calm, YouTube playlists that help with focus, utilizing DND (do not disturb) on your phone so that you are not distracted by incoming notifications, making sure you close your browser windows so that you don’t have distractions a click away. Stay away from the click-hole… The bottom-line is that you want to honor time with yourself and your to-dos like you would with anyone else. What tools do you use?
Bonus tip: Identify things that are daily routine, and things that are "to do." I have a number of things that are daily routines, both personal and in business. For example, meditation, reading and exercise. These are routines and they are scheduled. Too often we make time for others by sacrificing time for ourselves. This is why the free tool includes a schedule from 6am to 10pm, because you deserve time on the schedule and face it, not many of us have a day simply runs from 8am to 5pm. Your daily routines should be incorporated as habits into your planner, these are not to-dos, they are routines and deserve the scheduled time.
Bonus tip 2: Give it some color! I love adding color to my planner, at a glance I can see how my day is mapped out. What tasks are personal, which are revenue generating, which are educational. I use erasable highlighters, yeah... that's a thing! Cool right?
Grab your free tool and start experiencing maximum productivity, optimize your day and experience the joy of the daily win.
Don't keep something this good to yourself! Do you know one person who could use a tool like this? Give it a click and share and help a friend out.
About Tammey: Tammey Grable-Newton is an executive level consultant, powerful speaker and inspired author who guides others to embrace their experiences and create purpose from pain. As a proven change agent, she has helped many organizations transition to new levels and make the necessary culture shifts that have resulted in improved workflow, a more positive and successful work environment and expanded reach. After completing her MBA at the University of Washington, Tammey was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic breast cancer. Tammey transitioned from her elite, corporate positions to a career of passion, purpose and reach. As a remarkable professional and motivational speaker, Tammey shares her stories, lessons and perspectives with humor, candor and empathy. Whether speaking with the board, staff, funding entities, media or the public in general, she leaves audiences inspired and with tools to achieve.
About Taniant: Taniant is a consulting company with a passion for pairing the heart of non-profit and public sector with established business methodology for greater organizational success. Taniant can help your organization with reach new levels of success in grant writing, fund development, volunteer mobilization, community partnerships, strategic planning, operational management, process development, project management and budgeting.
Your passion is her passion and Tammey can’t wait to help you IGNITE your goals.