Get More Done

In my last post I talked about the full-plate syndrome and how that makes it difficult to get more done.

And what I’ve noticed in working with both executives and small business owners is that it’s much better to decide what items you’re going to take off your plate than letting them fall off randomly.

This allows you to get more of the right thing done.

To get you started, I suggested learning to say “no” more often – no more projects or networking events or activities, UNTIL you decide what you’re going to take off your plate first.

Now what about the things that are still left on your plate? How can you handle them differently so you can get more done with less stress.

I suggest that you start to create a “To-Do When?” list.

This is a twist on our good friend, the to-do list.

The problem with a traditional to-do list is that it often becomes a catch-all of things you need to do, the things you would like to do and things that you’ll most likely never do.

Because you never get to the end of your to-do list it can become very discouraging to look at it every day.

And ironically, this actually makes it harder to get more done.

I suggest you add to each to-do list item a “by when” date. This is simply a day and/or time that you will complete the task.

And any task that you can’t assign a by-when date goes onto a separate list called “Longer Term Projects.”

This serves a few different purposes.

First, you add bit of accountability to your day; giving feedback to yourself about how effective you’ve been in executing your day productively.

Second, you begin to be realistic about what you schedule for yourself. Often our to-do lists are long, but our accomplishment list is short – this technique will hopefully help you merge the two.

Give this method a try for a week or two and see if you are able to get more done. I’d love to hear how this works for you.