Tear Up Your "To-Do" List
I admit it, I get a weird satisfaction from crossing things off a to-do list, it feels like your winning at life with every tick. But do you really ever get what you want done? Let’s be honest, probably not. Why? Because every time I start the day with a list as long as my arm, I choose the easy way out - starting with those little things I can tick off fast, to satisfy my desire for that little win. The problem is, it gets to the end of the day and I’ve still not got everything done, and least of all those daunting things that I know will take longer…but are probably the most important.
I’ve stopped using to-do lists and my productivity has gone through the roof. Forget lists, let’s talk priorities. Or more specifically, the difference between what’s urgent and what's important:
Urgent: Things that need doing right NOW. Not necessarily important in the grand scheme of things, but things that need your attention now to avoid being a problem. A parking ticket that needs paying before the fine goes up.
Important: Those tasks that are pivotal to your goals. They might not need doing right this second, but you’ll need to spend some time on them to get it right and achieve what you want. Preparing for that big meeting you’ve got next week that could sky-rocket our business.
Now, every single task on your to-do list will fall into one of four categories: Urgent & Important, Urgent, Important, or neither urgent nor important.
Once you’ve divided your tasks into these categories you can really start to prioritise, focus your energy and actually get more done. Check this out:
Urgent & Important: Do this now, and give it your energy and focus.
Urgent: Delegate! If it’s not important, it doesn’t need all your attention. Can you get someone else do to it - an intern, someone else on your team, your Mum…
Important: Do this next, and make sure you set aside time to do it properly by the deadline
Not urgent or important: Leave it for now or delegate it.
Suddenly, by prioritising and learning to delegate, you can ACTUALLY get the things done that really need doing - the important things. Try it and tell me what you think