As business owners or managers, we constantly battle with time management. If you’re like me, you have researched so many different strategies to become more productive and how to simplify your to-do list so that you can manage your time better to get all of the things done. Only to find that it’s a constant struggle to keep up with those habits!
Hi! I’m Missy. I’m the communications and outreach coordinator for Forward Cody. I’ve been the face behind the current marketing and communications efforts for the past few months.
I’ve been taking the wise words and wisdom from our CEO/President James Klessens and sharing them with you on this blog for the past couple of months. While there is plenty more knowledge to be gained from James, I’m taking over the blog for a few weeks in a series called “How To Simplify Your To-Do List”.
I do not believe there is one single person out there who is an expert when it comes to time management and organization. I truly believe it is dependent upon YOU and you alone to create a system that works for you and your needs.
I’m sure you’ve heard about multiple methods of organizing your time to become more productive. “Time blocking” is one of them. And while many of these methods and systems are beneficial, I personally find it difficult to keep up with following all of them.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some suggestions on how to simplify your organizational systems.
Step ONE to simplify your to-do list: RE-DEFINING “PRODUCTIVITY”
How do you define “productivity“?
The standard definition of productivity is the measure of output per unit of input. Some may even describe it as “getting as many boxes checked as possible”, or “cramming as many tasks in one day as possible”.
As business owners or managers, it’s custom for us to feel like we need to handle all of the fires that are igniting or raging around us. Hate to break it to y’all – but that’s unhealthy. And it’s going to lead to burnout and deflated motivation. We’ve been groomed to think we need to get more and more things done when really, we could possibly see more productive results if we do LESS.
“Whoa. Missy, I don’t think you understand – I have way too much to do!”
Oh, but I DO understand. And I’ve noticed that if you shrink down your list and prioritize your focus, you will notice a spike in productivity.
Let me break it down for you.
Our NEW goal is to improve our process of managing our work week so that we avoid that familiar anxiety attack when random tasks pop up. It’s like when your mother-in-law shows up out of nowhere – you know the feeling.
Ask yourself these questions in order to sort out what is more of a focus and simplify your to-do list.
- Is this something YOU need to do? Many times, it’s hard for us to say “NO”. Many times, something will pop up, or a client comes in and asks for something that is not necessarily in your wheelhouse or provided service. Try approaching this situation by saying “No, but I have a few resources that could help you!” That way you’re not closing the door on a prospective client. Instead, you’re still servicing them, and they will remember your referrals.
- Does it even NEED to be done? Sometimes we overcomplicate our tasks. Ask yourself if this is necessary RIGHT NOW. Can it wait?
- Is it a priority? This kind of parallels the previous point, but it is still a necessary question to ask. How hot is that fire? Could it simmer for a little while? Or does it need to be put out immediately? Sometimes we HAVE to say YES. But we don’t have to pressure ourselves to do it right away. If it can wait, put it on the back burner.
- HOW can you outsource it? This encompasses all of these points. Whether or not it is something YOU need to do, it NEEDS to be done right away, or if it’s a priority or not – Can you have someone else do it? A team member, a contractor, a freelancer? Sometimes YOU have to do it – I mean, you ARE getting paid for your skills. But if there are too many pressing tasks on your plate, sometimes we need to outsource it to someone who can get it done in the needed amount of time.
By no means should we push our responsibilities onto others, or neglect them! However, you do yourself a disservice and even risk lowering what is expected of you when you try to take on everything yourself!
Next, we’ll talk about setting short-term milestones. Everything starts with a goal. The trick is to break down your goals and focus on reaching each milestone.
Join me NEXT WEEK for “STEP TWO: How to eat a frog“.
Interested in learning more about how Forward Cody can help you? Discover how our membership program will work for you!