I make a to-do list each day, even on the weekends…I really love making lists;) But that doesn’t mean they always get completed. There are still those days I walk away feeling completely unproductive and like I went around in circles trying to stay busy in an attempt to avoid the dreaded tasks on my list. Here are 3 steps to take to ensure you not only have a productive day, but feel good about it too.
1) Dream up your perfect day – I like to do this before I even get out of bed in the morning. It gets my mind working (which helps wake me up) and motivates me with a purpose. I think about what my ideal day will look like and what I would love to have happen. You don’t have to have big or complicated goals. Just think about what will make you happy today. Is it getting through your unread emails while enjoying a cup of coffee? A great conversation with a new client? Finding balance between work and family time? Or maybe it’s getting a workout in. If it helps, break your day down into categories like; family, work, exercise, etc. Whatever is important to you in a day, visualize how you would like to see that area of your life played out.
2) Choose 3 important tasks – don’t get crazy with your to-do list by writing down every task that needs to be done today (start a different list for that), just think about the essentials. If you can absolutely only get 3 tasks done today, what would they be? This helps you cut out the unnecessary and get down to business. If you choose your top 3 properly, even if your day spirals out of control and the unexpected comes up, you’ll still walk away feeling like you accomplished something important. Chances are you’ll be able to fit in more than 3 tasks in a day, so once they’re completed, create another 3 point checklist and keep on working.
3) Start with the most dreaded task – you know which one this is. It’s the one you know is important but you still don’t want to do. I find if I don’t start with the task I’m dreading, it gets pushed until the end of the day and onto the next day’s list…and then repeat. The faster you get it off your list, the less time you spend stressing over it and feeling guilty you haven’t worked on it.