When it comes to running a business it seems that there are never enough hours in the day. It is easy to find ourselves down the rabbit hole on our Facebook feeds and wondering where the heck the afternoon went. If you have ever felt like you couldn't get a grasp on your to-do list, here are some tips for you!
1. Make a to-do list
When you don't have a plan of attack it is easy to veer off course. Either the night before or first thing in the morning take a moment and write down everything you need to accomplish for the day. Whenever you find yourself wondering what to do next you have a road map to guide you along the way, and I don't know about you, but I love the feeling of crossing items off a list as I tackled them throughout the day.
2. Pick TWO priority tasks for the day
After making your to-do list pick only two tasks that are the most important to accomplish. Pick one of those tasks as your first item of the day. (It will feel so good to cross it off!) After you take a break for lunch tackle your second task if you haven't already. Following this practice will ensure that you accomplish what absolutely needs to happen and not waste away the day on smaller tasks. Things will come up and you won't be able to finish your to-do list every day - and that's okay!
3. Set a timer
The best way to bust through your tasks is to attack them without any distractions. Set a timer for 1 hour, turn off your notifications and put your phone on "do not disturb" and get to work. You will be shocked how much you can get done in 60 minutes without all the distractions. Now that you are feeling amazing for all that you accomplished you definitely need to...
4. Take breaks
After your distraction free, super focused work time, step back and take a break. It is easy to get stuck at your desk - avoiding pausing for lunch, taking a break to hit the gym or step outside to enjoy the sunshine. But here's the deal: you need to do it! You will feel so much better and refreshed when you come back to your desk if you just take a moment to step away from the computer and do something that brings you joy.
5. Create a routine
One of the most helpful ways to keep focused on one task at a time is to create a routine. For example, instead of checking your email every time a notification pops up, turn off your notifications and pick two times a day to check in. Use this time solely to check email, respond and handle any business that may be pressing in your inbox. Once your done, shut it down and move on to the next thing.
6. Make some new habits
When we make habits our brains don't have to work nearly as hard to accomplish the task. This makes our day run smoothly without leaving us exhausted and overwhelmed. Some good habits to adopt are:
- Keep a notebook and pen by your bed to write your to-do list at the end of the night or when you first was up.
- Keep your phone charger in a different room before you go to sleep to keep you from going on a Pinterest bender instead of reading that new book you love.
- Set your coffee timer to start just before your alarm goes off so you have a little reward waiting for you when you drag yourself out of bed.
- Pick out your clothes + prep your food the night before a busy day
7. Rest when you need it
You are going to have days where you are exhausted. Whether you are sick, tired or just having an off-day, it's okay to take a break. Work half a day and spend the other half resting. Keep your to-list small when you know your head isn't in the game. If you take a day to recoup you will more than make up for the lost day when you come back to the grind feeling recharged and in good health.
8. Don't beat yourself up
If you don't get your task list done, don't beat yourself up. Shit happens. Move it to the next day and keep at it. You are only human and allowing yourself to feel guilt is only harming you.
9. Take a look back at your day + assess
At the end of the day look back at your list and see how much you accomplished. Did you cruise through your list and have too much time to spare? Maybe that means you have room in your schedule for a new project or a routine coffee date with your biz bestie. Way to go.
Or maybe you only managed to get through half of your list. No biggie. Now you know what a realistic to-do list looks like for you on a day to day basis. Don't overfill your list because you feel like you have to get it done. Ultimately, it won't happen and you'll end up feeling bummed. Don't set yourself up for failure, man!