Category Archives: Advice

Less Tormenting To-Dos

I am constantly making to-do lists. If not physical, they are always in my head. And mostly I have to create a physical list just to get some reprieve from the mental reminders. It’s on the list, Aarika. Now you can stop obsessing. You won’t forget because it’s now written down.

Fast Company to do listsWork – eNewsletter, print ads, digital ads, photo shoot, website maintenance, press release, SEO report, client call, media buys, invoices, insurance

Personal – Plan gatherings with family and friends, grocery store, gym, pay bills, send mail, read, study for new venture, organize iPhoto library

Cleaning – Sweep, mop, dust, dishes, laundry, bathrooms, make beds, touch up paint

Outdoors – Mow, weed-eat, hoe garden, water, trim shrubs and trees, pressure wash and waterproof back deck

This is my life of lists. I think all the time, analyzing, worrying. I have wakeful, vivid dreams every night. Sometimes I wish I could turn my brain off. But then I realize that this strong sense of aspiration and time management is what makes me the productive person I am.

I was all too relieved to read a recent Fast Company article, as provided to me by a LinkedIn Pulse email, titled “5 Unexpected Ways to Get More Done.” (You know I jumped on that one eagerly. See notes above about my tendencies.) The feature proposed ways to work smarter, not harder. And this made me feel better about my lists, knowing that I’m getting a lot right, per this author.

Here’s a synopsis…

5 Unexpected Ways to Get More Done

1. Limit your to-do list

  • List fewer items that you can actually get done
  • Choose 3 Most Important Tasks as priorities
  • Plan the night before
  • Focus on the present day

2. Measure your results, not your time

  • Keep in mind that more hours does not equal more done
  • Recognize what you accomplished, not what you didn’t get done
  • Create small steps to cross off list (parts of a whole task)

3. Build “getting ready to work” routines

  • Avoid procrastination because of uncertainty, being overwhelmed
  • Use a routine to tell your brain and body it’s time to work (coffee, email, music, lighting)

4. Track what you’re wasting time on

  • Know where your time suck is before trying to solve the problem (picking outfit, browsing web, social media)
  • Make alterations in activities (cut, limit, prepare in advance)

5. Build habits to help you stop working

  • Quit while you’re ahead, clear starting place for next day
  • Set firm cut-off time,
  • Plan something after work, a must-do or fun outing
  • Enstate a wind-down routine (journaling, time tracking, cleaning desk)

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