Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Getting from "To-Do" to "Done"

Tips To Mark Tasks Off Your List
Whether for our occupations, running our homes, volunteer work or helping take care of those we love most in our lives, most of us have an endless list of tasks that must be completed… Yet, how can we best move those actions from “to-to” to “done” status? Here are a few useful tools and tactics to make that process a little easier.

1. When faced with a task, decide if you should "discard", "delegate", "delay" or "do" the action... Not everything must be done, and those that truly must be done don't always have to be completed by you.

2. Consider options like eLance, Fancy HandsFiverr, Task Rabbit and Thumbtack to outsource what others can complete more quickly than you can or to open time in your schedule for attacking other to-do items.

3. Strategize on what tasks can be automated via If This Then ThatPodbox or Zapier; program them into the selected solution so you can move on to something else that needs your attention.

4. Be realistic about what can be accomplished on any given day... Narrow your running to-do list into three to five tasks per day of your week; then, start each of those priorities with a verb to drive action.

5. Remember that every “what” assigned a “when” is more likely to get done. Since I've yet to find a calendar that includes “someday”, be specific about when each action will be completed and schedule enough time to make progress.

6. Complete a weekly strategy session before each week to create a game plan for (a) what carries over from the prior week, (b) what upcoming appointments require preparation and (c) what tasks must be done when. Keep in mind the importance of scheduling what’s important but not urgent related to your goals.

7. Consider an electronic task manager app because it will offer reminders, allows undone tasks to more easily carry over to later dates and can have recurrences scheduled, like Any.Do, Carrot, Remember The Milk, Pocket Informant or Wunderlist; however, know that paper lists can work if that is more in line with your personality and your workflow, particularly for those that are not mobile workers. While the options are endless, the priority is that you get things done.

8. Break larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks to be done individually, eliminating procrastination from overwhelm or not knowing where to start. When handling many large projects, try adopting a project management tool, like Asana, Azendoo or Mavenlink.

9. If you’re having trouble getting tasks done, utilize a timer… Once you get rolling, you might not stop, you can do anything for 15 minutes or so, and shorter times can lead to an extra burst of energy.

10. Always keep in mind that your overall well-being is very instrumental for your productivity: be sure to exercise, eat well (starting with a good breakfast), get enough sleep for your needs, take time for massages and incorporate positive music in your workspace.

What have you found most helpful in your attempts to mark things off your to-do list? What tactics do you utilize for finishing tasks?

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