What’s the best way to make your To Do List a better productivity tool?
Separating things that require much more creativity from those things that simply need to be done helps set priorities. I’m most creative early in the day so I try to protect this time from meetings and tasks that just require basic intelligence.
Jotting down all the things that are on your mind is fine. Just remind yourself not to crowd out those important things to get done with your more mundane tasks.
Segmenting my To Do List into three types of tasks has made a huge difference for me.
The first tasks revolve around revenue. While this is always important, when you’re running your own business it becomes even more critical. Ask yourself, “What are you going to be doing today that will really help generate revenue?”
Secondly, what’s going to help build your community? Networks are as important to revenue as your knowledge. Both your online community and your off-line community need continual nurturing.
Third, what can you do each day that’s going to help you learn and grow as a professional? It’s not hard to stay at the forefront of the latest changes if we work at it a little bit every day. This category of tasks should be a vital part of any daily To Do List but is often overlooked.
Once you’ve got a list, what’s a smart way to tackle it?
I’ve got good concentration ability and found that setting a timer for my tasks allows even more productivity. Working 45 minutes on with a 15-minute break keeps me energized.
Use your breaks for community building time.
Pop into a Facebook or LinkedIn group to share advice and engage with others. Use Instagram or Twitter, to make comments that showcase your expertise. I also use breaks to make calls and connect with professionals in my community that I’d like to get together with.
Do you follow key people on social media? You know, those that consistently share tons of information. I’ll listen to a podcast or jump on Periscope or Blab to catch people like Chalene Johnson, Hilary Rushford, or Kim Garst who regularly deliver great content. Both Periscope and Blab are free apps that allow you to follow interesting speakers. You’re notified when someone you’ve chosen to follow is broadcasting live. You also have a chance to review their video afterward if that works out better for your schedule. I tune in while prepping meals or cleaning up around the house.
What not to do.
Put off checking your email until mid-morning. This way, you’re in charge of your schedule and less apt to be at the mercy of others. I schedule just one time in the morning to check email – generally around 11 o’clock. Check your email again about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and leave it at that. Yes, this can work most days.
Letting people know that you check your business email just twice a day establishes great boundaries and habits. In fact, I’ve turned off all notifications and just check my social media and email at select times that are my choice. If not, the distractions are just too numerous.
Points to remember
• Think about the tasks that take more brain power and when you’re most creative. Schedule those creative tasks at the best time for your productivity and protect those times.
• Break tasks into three distinct categories: Revenue generating; Community building; and Learning. Pay attention to the amount of day each category consumes and adjust as needed.
• Use break time for building your community.
• Only check email mid-morning after you have your day started on your agenda.
• Set the next day’s tasks in the evening as you’re shutting things done. This is when tasks are fresh in your mind.
Keeping a smart To Do List allows our brains to relax as we focus on just one task at a time. It helps release stress and makes us feel more productive, too.
Creating a focused list also helps me feel good about how I’m moving forward on specific goals and managing my time. I’d love to know what you’re doing to keep yourself on track and organized.
Please leave a comment and share with us what you’ve found to be successful. Thanks so much and follow my blog to get updates and information on marketing and business ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.