Written for TakeON! by Linda Skluzacek of Insight Advisor Group
Do more with less. It's a phrase you hear often these days in the halls of businesses everywhere. Staff numbers are shrinking, responsibilities are growing, and anxiety is rising.
At a recent dinner with friends, the constant lament was ‘there just isn’t enough time in the day’ to get everything done. Each one of them started the day making a list of every possible task they may ever need to get done. And each one ended up spinning their wheels, trying to figure out where to start. By the end of the day, they hadn’t come close to achieving their goals; they were stuck in the ‘to-do list’ trap.
Effectively setting priorities is paramount to achieving success. About three years ago, I ditched my ‘to-do’ list and I now begin each day with a ‘must-do’ list. This list contains, at most, four ‘mission critical’ items; those tasks I deem most important to achieve my goals. I start my day there, focused on those items exclusively; only moving to the larger list if time permits.
Instead of feeling like I haven’t done enough, I go home each day feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment; knowing I completed my most important tasks. By focusing on must-do’s, I am more effective at work, my ‘to-do’ list had shrunk, and I am motivated again.
How do you start your day? Are you focused on crossing every item off your list; feeling like you’ll never catch up? Or, can you identify the top three or four tasks each day; shifting so you do better with less?