How many tasks have you got on your to-do list for today?
I’m guessing that there’s probably a lot on there. I’m also guessing that you won’t get them all done (unless you’ve followed me for a while or worked with me and can see where this is going!). What I also know from personal experience and also from working with clients is that not getting all that done will make you feel bad. You may have ticked off a few things but they won’t feel like they count because you still have soooooo many things to do.
What are two things that you can do to change this story?
1. Cut your list down
Make your list smaller. Have a maximum of THREE things on your “get done today” list. Keep the rest in your Task Management System (ie: Master List). Trust me, ticking off those three things will be immensely more satisfying than aiming for 15 and not getting there.
How do you choose your Top 3? At the beginning of each day, before you start working, mentally fast forward to the end of the day and decide what three things you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Be sure to tie them back to your big picture goals too.
This works because our brains are trained from early on to think in threes. Think about it: the beginning, the middle, the end. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. See? Threes.
2. Stop context switching and start batching
Most brains don’t like “context switching” and don’t do it very well. What this means is that the more tasks you are trying to do at once, the more you are losing actual time in order to have the energy to switch between them. So for example, say you’re working on your newsletter, then you remember you need to email somebody about a wholesale enquiry, then you come back to the newsletter, then remember someone else you needed to follow up on. Every time you switch between tasks, it takes your brain a good amount of time to change gears back to the original task at hand.
Instead, try batching. Batch all your email replies together to complete in the morning, and all your product promotion tasks together to complete in the afternoon. And keep your newsletter tasks and content creation for the following day. If you work this way, you’re far more likely to get into a flow with your work, and you won’t lose precious time to context switching.
So in summary, do ONE thing until it’s done, then go on to the next thing. How does that sound? Doable?