I’m a girl with big dreams and minimal time in the office. Being intentional with my desired outcomes and implementing strategies to easily make them happen is critical. I'm a big fan of setting yourself up with no more that 5-6 things on your to-do list each day. Some people have more than 20 things on their list. Some keep it all in their heads and feel overwhelmed. I asked productivity expert, Monique Y. Wells what she thinks is the best way to prioritize your day for success. She replied …
"I love to-do lists! But I know a lot of people don’t and often it’s because of what you’ve just said:
They have a huge number of things on their list…
They never get them all done…
and – here’s the important thing –
They feel like they’ve failed because they don’t get everything done.
So the list becomes a burden, even a torture instrument, instead of the guide rail that it’s meant to be.
I think the best way to prioritize your day for success is to work backward from your goals for the quarter, for the month, and for the week. This way, you’re always working from a place of clarity and empowered decision.
For example, you know that to reach Goal X by the end of the week, you need to get Things A and B done today so that you can do Things C and D tomorrow, and so on.
So you make Things A and B your top priorities for today. If you have a few mundane tasks to do today as well, you can put those on the list and do them when you have downtime or when you need to take a break from doing the important things.
If you get the mundane things done, great! It makes you feel good and gives you energy for the important tasks. If you don’t do them, that’s fine too. There’s no harm and no foul if you move them to tomorrow’s list..
You need to make sure that you tackle Things A and B when you are best able to succeed at getting them done!
Common productivity dogma says that you should do your hardest and most important things first thing in the morning. That’s only true IF your mind and body are fit for that particular task early in the morning.
If your most important “thing” for the day is to write a sales letter and your writing mojo doesn’t kick in until late afternoon, don’t bother trying to do this in the morning. Plan your day so that you do the mundane stuff in the morning and have the uninterrupted time that you need to write in the afternoon.
As for trying to keep things in your head, it is the quickest route to overwhelm – and sometimes even disaster!
As soon as you write things down, you remove the pressure of remembering them so your mind can do what it’s supposed to do – make decisions, be creative, focus on the task at hand…
Once you move past the fear of using the to-do list, this becomes easy to do.
One final thing about prioritizing for success (I know you’ll like this one!):
I advise you to build something that’s personal and fun into your workday, every day.
I always have “laugh out loud” on my to-do list. I take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to go over to YouTube and find a funny video that will make me laugh during the day.
For you, it might be spending time in your garden, taking a power walk, or reading a chapter in your favorite book.
Whatever it is, it should give you great pleasure and provide a pattern interrupt in your day."
Known as the Paris Muse of Productivity™, Monique Wells helps women with “runaway” service-based businesses go from feeling frustrated, frazzled, and frantic to having focus, freedom, and fun in their business and their life. Grab your COMPLIMENTARY Priority For Productivity 2-PACK here.