Do you ever feel like you’re juggling multiple lives? You have things to do for work, errands to run at home, and random tasks that keep popping up?
I hear you.
As an entrepreneur and coach, I’ve gotten busier and have needed new methods to deal with my new responsibilities. I love the subject of time management, but most of it involves crazy systems or things that simply won’t fit into my lifestyle.
In the constant battle between self-love and self-discipline, my clients often ask me how I manage to “get shit done.” I don’t use fancy apps, mnemonic devices, or phone alarms. I kick it old school and use a To-Do List With a Twist.
My To-Do List with a Twist is an upgrade from the traditional list in 5 Big Ways:
- It allows me to prioritize tasks
- It gives me wiggle room in case I’m not in the mood
- It’s in my face
- It motivates me
- It prevents me from pushing off tasks I could do now.
So here’s what you need to know:
- Stick it. Use the “stickies” program on the desktop of your computer. Why? It’s the perfect hybrid of post it note and fancy technology. It’s simple and clean. Plus, you’ll have everything in one place and not in random emails, notes on your phone, and receipts in your coat pocket.
- Use the 2 minute rule. If you can do a task in less than 2 minutes (like responding a simple email) you should NOT add it to your list. Get it done now, don’t let shit pile up! There’s nothing more overwhelming than a long list, even if it’s made of things that only take 2 minutes.
- Mix short and long-term items everyday. You shouldn’t spend your time doing meaningless and/or time-sensitive tasks at the expense of your bigger goals. Each day have a mix of big picture tasks to get you to your goal (think strategy, planning, research) and the little annoying things (checking on your insurance reimbursement).
- Plug things into dates. Tasks expand to fit the time we have for them. It’s the reason you have a month to do a project, but only manage to pull it together the day before it’s due. The tasks you plug in should not be meetings or appointments. These tasks get worked around existing meetings. When I assign a task to a day, I keep my schedule in mind and plan for what I can reasonably accomplish. Notice that I don’t say when during the day I’ll do it. That’s the difference between working from a place of self-love vs. self-discipline. If I’m not in the mood to write in the morning, I’ll do a different task then and write later in the day when I’m more energized. The reason this works is because you’re honoring your specific needs at the time without sacrificing the things you actually need to do.
- Cross things out. When you’re done with a task, cross it out. It makes you feel amazing. Trust me.
What’s your system to organize tasks? Share it with the Community in the Comments Section below!