Turn your to-do list into an already-did list

5 min read
Ryan Myers

You’ve already made out your to-do list, which means you’re already on top of organizing. But sometimes that list gets so massive, it can be intimidating. There’s so much to do, so many looming deadlines, you don’t even know where to start.

Don’t let those empty checkboxes get you down.
With a few simple tips, you can knock out that list in no time.

Break it Down

Don’t let the overall size of your list get you down. Break it into smaller categories that you can tackle individually. Think about it like those adventurous eaters that take down gigantic burger challenges. They don’t just dig in, they cut it down into easy-to-handle portions. Essentially, turn your giant list into mini-lists. It will help make the massive tasks seem easier, and it’ll make the overall list seem far more manageable.

Prioritize what needs to get done, and try to tackle the rough stuff and the most pressing deadlines first. If you put off the stuff you don’t want to do, you’ll procrastinate. Get that out of the way early, and then it’s smooth sailing from there. Of course, don’t get so bogged down in mini-lists that you’re not actually doing anything! This is meant to save time, not waste it. Break it down enough to get started, and then get going.

Timing is Everything

It can be stressful to watch that time tick away when there’s so much left to do. But don’t treat time as your nemesis. Time management doesn’t just mean dividing up your time, it means making the time work for you.

First, take advantage of when you’re most productive. Are you a go-getter that hits the ground running after that first cup of coffee? Or are you a slow burner who gets everything done in that post-lunch second wind? Account for that when you try to plan out your day, and leverage your own productivity cycle.

Then, it’s time to figure out where it all fits in. Of course, you’ll want to prioritize everything by deadlines, but there’s another level to it. Assign rough time estimates to everything on your list. It doesn’t have to be exact, just make your best guess. That will help you organize the order to do things.

Tackle the big tasks when you’re at your most productive, then you can fill in the rest with the easy stuff.

But it’s not just your tasks that need time assigned so you can succeed. Make sure you’re giving yourself the time to manage everything. Meaning, set a strict limit on things like meetings and lunches, so your precious time isn’t devoured by them.

Stay on Target

Back in the day, it was a little easier to stay on task. But in the information age, distractions lurk around every corner. Email, social media, TV, news sites, forums, and so on. One silly meme can turn into a three-hour tour of the internet. Time management is key. So, eliminate distractions to supercharge your productivity. It’s okay to check your email at the start of the day, but don’t worry about clearing that inbox. Take a quick peek for important stuff, but then shut it all off. No email, no web browsers, no phone. TV and music is okay for a little background noise if that’s how you work, but don’t pick anything that takes brain power away from your tasks. Pick stuff you have seen/heard a thousand times. You want to be motivated, not sidetracked.

Photo by Cam Adams on Unsplash

Reach Out

Let others know what you’re working on. Send an email, start a conversation, whatever works. This will accomplish two things. One, it will help keep you accountable. Once you’ve put it out there, you’ll be less likely to let things fall to the wayside. But it also opens the door for people to help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Outsource your to-do list where you can. Of course, don’t just try to push your work off on other people, or you’ll find them far less willing to help next time.
Reaching out is also a great way to learn how other people tackle their tasks. You’ll start to build a list of helpful resources. Like, for instance, an insightful GoDaddy Canada blog.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

The most important part of taking on a beastly to-do list is to make sure you are maximizing your efficiency. Streamline your workflow to make your list easier to manage. Lean on technology everywhere you can. Find apps that automate tasks, help with time management, and do the heavy lifting for you. GoDaddy has a ton of solutions that will help make that to-do list easier to manage. For example, Microsoft Office 365 from GoDaddy combines the office software you know and love with the convenience of the cloud. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done when you’re not chained to your desk.

And last but not least, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you can’t finish your list, don’t let it roll over to the next day. It’ll just get you down. Start a fresh new list every day.

Now go start that list!

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