Some people slow down when they have very little on their to-do list. And others actually slow down when there is too much to do. You have to identify what type of person you are and then work to create a task list that will boost your productivity. In today’s episode, we’ll give tips on how to develop a task list that will inspire you and help you keep up your production.
Personally, I’m not really someone that loves to have a to-do list. I have had to rely on more in the last year because I manage so much in the business. I much prefer showing up every day, looking around at what needs to be done, and doing what’s in front of me. When I don’t have much going on, it’s not a problem for me. I’ll knock out what’s left and then do things I feel inspired to do. And those things aren’t always in relation to my business.
Ask Yourself These Questions to Learn The Best Task List For You
There are people that work well with a shorter task list and are able to knock out their tasks and have the ability to take on more work. Others tend to put off doing their work if they don’t have a lot to accomplish. This keeps them from being available to handle more.
Some of the people that I work with do best when they have a long list of things to do. It keeps them motivated and they produce so much more. When their list dwindles, they’ll actually get less done and end up running up against their deadlines or missing them altogether.
I highly encourage you to figure out the best type of task list for you. Here are a few things to ask yourself:
- When I have a lot to do on my list, do I freak out or get excited that I have a lot to do?
- When there are only a few things on my list, do I knock them out or do I tend to leave a few things on the list so that it’s not complete?
- Do I find it harder to stay focused when I know there is less for me to do or can I push through no matter what?
Who Works Well With a Short List?
Here are a few indicators that you are someone that can work best from a shorter list:
- Long task lists freak you out.
- Short deadlines stress you.
- You want to get everything done on your list as soon as possible.
Who Works Well With a Long List?
These are a few indicators that you are someone that can work best with a longer list:
- Shorter lists cause you to put off doing work and get distracted with non-essential tasks.
- You procrastinate on getting things done because you have a lot of time to do it.
- It excites you to see a lot of things on your list and you can’t wait to start crossing things off.
Knowing The Pitfalls of Having The Wrong Length List
Having the right amount of work on your list is essential to getting your work done.
If you are a person that works best with a short list and you have pages of things to accomplish, you’ll feel overwhelmed and stressed. Being stressed out causes you to develop a block on your tasks and causes you to put off doing things. Also, the overwhelm can cause you to burn out.
If you are someone that works best with a long list of tasks, then a short list can trick you into thinking you can procrastinate. You’ll end up wasting a lot of time, because you believe that you have plenty of time to get the work done. When unexpected things come up, it will make it hard for you to get your list done. Also, when opportunities come up, you won’t have the ability to go after them.
Tips to Create The Right List For You
Once you’ve identified that type of list that’s best for you, here are the things you can do to create the right list for you:
How to Create a Short To-Do List
If you are someone that works best with a short list is that they have to create to-do lists with a few top priorities for each day. In order to do this, you need to:
- Look at the week or month as a whole and determine the deadlines for each task.
- Schedule those top priorities out so they can break their list into what needs to be done each day.
- Leave room in their daily list to add priorities that pop up.
How to Create Long To-Do List
If you are someone that needs a longer to-do list to be motivated, then you’ll want to write down everything that has to be done in a week. In order to do this, you need to:
- Add every task to your list, no matter how small. (Ex. Emailing someone, making a phone call, checking on the progress of something, etc.)
- Add in off-topic items like personal to-dos.
- Add in some long-term tasks. This isn’t really “padding the list,” but more like dreaming a little. This could include that big task you’ve been dreading that you know will take a lot of time. But just think about how much time you’ll have to put towards it when you get to the end of your task list!
Develop The Right Mindset to Grow Your Income
It was really difficult for me when I got started with this business, because I would be given an assignment and I would knock it out as fast as I could so I didn’t owe anyone anything. I had to change my mindset on that pretty quickly, because I quickly took on more assignments than what could be done in a day.
So, instead of thinking, I’m going to knock this out so there’s nothing looming over me, I had to look at the big picture. I needed a balanced schedule of to-do’s so I wasn’t working 10 hours one day and not working at all the next day.
What helped me was to remind myself of what it was like to work as a secretary in real estate law. The work we did wasn’t meant to be completed in a day. Unlike working in retail or fast food, the transaction took almost a whole month and so we had to work on them a little every week to get them ready. Instead of treating my business like it was working in fast food (if you’re not there to serve the tacos, someone else will be), I treated my business like working in an office. My tasks would be waiting for me when I got in the next day.
At R5 Website Management, one of the ways we help business owners and freelancers is to take on some of their tasks. We offer website services, writing, social media, and client communication. If you would benefit from these services, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.