How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Unfortunately, at some point we get too full to finish eating the elephant and give up. The same goes for our to-do lists. We just plan it and the idea of actually completing it all becomes overwhelming. With a few simple tips, you can tame your to-do list and in turn live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Tip 1: Set goals.
Don’t just survive your day. Succeed every day by taking steps that move you towards your dreams. Often we get so caught up in being busy that we fail to plan our lives. We end up reacting to the demands that arise every day in the form of emails, phone calls, social media, interruptions, etc., thus allowing them to guide us in our lives.
Tip 2: Plan ahead.
Spend 10 to 15 minutes each night looking at your to-do list. Prioritize and plan the most important items for action the next day. Take it a step further by assigning the completion of these prioritized items as an appointment on your calendar. Make sure to account for free time and procrastination. It is important to make your schedule realistic and achievable. It is also important to have time to recharge your batteries so you can work at your optimal productivity. In fact, even plan your bedtime.
Tip 3: Make time for what matters most.
Make sure the tasks you assign to yourself are aligned with your goals. If not, reassess their importance and the priority you give them. Make time for what is most important.
Tip 4: Set limits.
It is a well-known rule that things are increased to fill the available space. The bigger your space, the more things you take to fill it. The more storage space you have, the more things you store. The more you have to work on a project, the more time you spend finishing it. More is not always better, sometimes more is just more. Have you ever procrastinated waiting until the last 30 minutes of the day to finish a certain task, even though you knew you had to complete it that day? What if you started the day by taking the first 30 minutes to focus on that project, and then used the rest of the day to complete a few more tasks, and then you had the rest of the day to yourself, since all your work for that day was done? Wouldn’t the reward be worth the effort?
Tip 5: Limit Internet and TV time.
Does watching 4 hours of television a day really contribute to your life? Don’t get me wrong, television can provide entertainment and relaxation as it doesn’t require much thinking, but don’t let it get in the way of achieving your goals. Surfing the internet is also a big waste of time. You need to spend time more wisely. Keep a diary for a week and track how you spend your time. This will help you identify time wasters and make a conscious decision to change these limiting habits.
Tip 6: Don’t be an information junkie.
More information does not necessarily make your life better. It’s good to read, but it’s not good to take in all kinds of useless information. If you get information that you can try something with, put it into practice. Only through action do we change our lives.
If you want to increase personal productivity, start by changing some of your limiting habits and create new ones that will lead you to a more fulfilling life. Start small and build on your success.