Welcome to day 3 of the Work Harder and Not harder Challenge. Today we are mastering your to do list and I’m going to show you how to use your list to revolutionise how much work you get done.
Watch the video or read the transcript underneath and don’t forget to mark this lesson as complete once you’ve finished.
Today we’re going to be working on your To Do List.
I’m a massive fan of the to do list. It helps me focus, and stay on track.
The problem is that most people are not using their list as well as what they could be. What I see happen is that you might write down everything that you need to do on your list, and then you go about your day and things happen….interruptions, unplanned tasks, or things take longer than you expected. Then you get to the end of the day and you glance at your list and realise that you’ve not done as much as you wanted or you’ve only managed to cross off a couple of things, and you’re left feeling unproductive.
So you’ll then transfer everything from today’s list onto tomorrows list and away you go again.
Let’s get started on solving this problem.
Write a list of everything that you want to achieve. Now, have a think about how long each task is going to take….just a rough estimate and write this next to each task and add up the total amount of time.
Now, think about your average working day. Let’s pretend you work 8 hours a day, and let’s pretend that you’re going to take an hour for lunch which leaves you 7 hours available.
Now have a look at see if the total amount of time for your tasks is longer than 7 hours. If it adds up to more than 7 hours start prioritising your tasks so you can get about 7 hours worth of work on your list.
Go back to your task log that you did yesterday and let’s pretend you get interrupted about an hour a day, you’ve now got only 6 hours of your day available for your list. So go back to your to do list and pick out 6 hours worth of work. You’ve now got an achievable to do list, rather than trying to squeeze all of your tasks into your day and setting yourself up to fail.
As you go about your day and you get unplanned tasks that appear – rather than just dealing with them and moving on, start writing them down at the bottom of your to do list, and by all means tick them off if you like that sense of achievement.
The benefits of doing this is two fold. Firstly it gives you a real sense of achievement and stops you getting the feeling at the end of the day that you’ve been really busy but you’re not sure what you’ve accomplished. You can now see it in front of you and you know you’ve been productive.
The second benefit is that now you have a record of what you’ve been working on, and you can start looking to see if there is a fix you can put in place, or whether you can delegate. You can then start to put things in place to prevent these unplanned activities in the future.
By doing all of this you’ll create a list that’s achievable, and that really works for you.
Have a practice, and let me know how you get on.