Updated: May 22
As a kid, I was the one with to-do lists. Daily. Weekly. Morning routine. Homework checklist. On and on…usually color-coded and wrapped in some kind of self-reward.
I know I’m not alone in this. If you’re a list person, you might find it satisfying to write & check things off a list. Psychologist and author, Dr. David Cohen, puts our love of to-do lists down to three reasons: they dampen anxiety about the chaos of life, they give us structure, and they are proof of what we have achieved. “A system is needed – and scribbled notes on hands won't cut it,” he says.
The problem with to-do lists, especially in business, is that they are often mismanaged. Have you ever thought about who decides what is important? Why is your list double that of your peers? What about how your list NEVER gets done? Worse yet, do you find yourself checking things off that are unimportant? Satisfying, but only for a moment. This mismanagement of to-dos leads to feelings of anxiety, inadequacy and frustration!
Here are 3 time hacks that will really help clear the chaos. Let's start small.
1. Just start! Set a 15 minute timer. One can seriously get a lot of work done in 15 minutes!
Think about something you’ve put off. Like this blog. I’ve wanted to start for months but never had ‘enough’ time for perfection (hmm. a problem for another day). So... I committed to 15 minutes.
Anxiety, gone. Blog, done. Certainly not perfect, but maybe it will help someone!
2. Less is more. Decide on a number each day and stick with it. Mine is 3, ‘ON the business’ priorities to focus on each day. Things like Rock® activities, if you run on EOS®. The rest are pebbles- they need completed but do not move the business needle. Fill in the cracks with sand (ie: email) and get more accomplished!
Here’s what this looks like. Simple. Minus any feelings of inadequacy when you check, check, check the priorities!
To-do PRIORITIES (ROCKS):
3. Put a system in place. Whether that’s a system for how you prioritize your day or an operating system like EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System) for your business. If you lead a team that has 32 priorities and everything is important, NOTHING is important. There is NOTHING more frustrating than that- especially if you’re a list person.
If you have a ‘list’ of frustrations, reach out!
Perhaps I can help.
--Michelle Owens, Professional EOS Implementer®