With so many steps to complete a task, do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? Of course, you do, especially at this time of year where you’re pushing towards your end of year goals and trying to pull off a huge holiday party or dinner in your personal life. It can feel a little (dare we say) overwhelming.
But you don’t need more hours in the day. No, what you need is more dedication. More productivity. Often, it can feel as though you’re wringing every single second out of the day.
So, if you have a to-do list as long as your arm and don’t know where to start, fear not. Here are a few hacks to help you get everything on your list ticked off!
Give your to-do list a makeover
You already have a daily to-do list, no doubt riddled with amendments, things you need to remember, and additions that you whack on the end. Give your to-do list a makeover and instead, focus on three things you can actually achieve in one day.
This is one of the most important steps to complete a task. As soon as you do them, you are allowed to write another to-do list. If anything else pops up, it must stay on to a sticky note ready to be brought into your minimalistic to-do list.
The power is in your hands now. You’re not waiting for tasks to be chucked at you, you’re taking control of your to-do list and being smart about it, too. The perfect tool to help you with that would be The Project Book. With its timed weekly schedule, project plan section timed to-do list and notes pages, this will help you truly kick your basic to-do list to the curb.
De-clutter your workspace
Start your day with a de-clutter. Chuck old papers in the bin and start fresh. It’s amazing what a clean desk can do and how it will make you feel. You’ll be able to tackle your day with a fresh perspective because you’ve given yourself the space necessary to get started.
All it takes is a little organizing. You might need to invest in a desk organization set like the Tortoiseshell Desk Essentials Set to make sure your desk is in tip-top shape in a chic way. Put all your pens in the tortoiseshell pen pot, add all your bits and bobs to the tortoiseshell desk organizer
Focus on one thing at a time.
Multitasking will destroy your to-do list. Do not talk on your phone while sending an email, or try to remember something while filling in a spreadsheet. Focus solely on one thing until that thing is done, and then move on to the next.
This process is often called ‘deep work’, shutting yourself off and focusing exclusively on one task, only resting when it’s done, can free up a lot of time you didn’t know you had.
Keep your emails organized.
This is one of the easiest steps to complete a task I can think of. De-clutter your inbox!
I don’t know about you but seeing 200 unread emails in my inbox can bring me out in a cold sweat. Tackling your inbox is a job that takes a little while if you’ve been letting it pile up, but if you stay on top of it every day, you’ll find it takes you less time to manage and complete tasks that are tied up to your inbox.
A quick way to do this would be to set up filters, go through your inbox at an allocated time for 20 minutes and mark any emails that you want to skip the inbox, put in a folder, mark as spam or just simply delete before they become a nuisance!
Schedule chunks of uninterrupted time.
It’s all about deep work. For me, that often means plugging in my headphones and removing the temptation to chat by blocking myself. Identify your biggest distraction and work on removing it.
If you find yourself checking Instagram throughout the day, turn your phone off or put it in a drawer. The easiest way to do this is to give yourself a period of time where you work completely uninterrupted.
You tell yourself you will work for exactly one hour without any distractions, focusing on one thing only, and then at the end, you can grab a water, go to the coffee machine, or take a routine walk around the printer for five minutes. This works so much better than being distracted routinely throughout the day. These steps to complete a task might seem like they’re self-explanatory, but they’ll make a huge difference.