No matter how organized you are, the classic task or to-do list is a monster that has a mind of its own, and grows at an alarming rate. Isn’t it time to quit working for the monster, and start making the monster work for you?
Make the Task List Monster Work for You
Making the task list monster work for you, instead of being a slave to the monster is really simple. It takes organization and mindset. Nothing more, nothing less. So how do you take simplistic steps and slay the monster?
First, get your self organized. Clean up your your workflow and make your practices habit. Do them everyday and without a thought. Habits are powerful when they are done as second nature. Some prefer the pen and paper written list, others go digital. Whatever you choose, make sure that the platform of choice is simple, clear and easy to use. There are multitudes of platforms in the digital space that sync across all of your platforms. Do your research and pick one that makes your comfortable, then stick with it. Stop jumping from solution to solution! Almost any solution will work if you stick with it, and are disciplined in following it for a month.
The next step is straightforward logic. You probably work through a task list that is greater than 20 items. Every evening, you refine and prioritize that list for the next day. However, this is where the monster grows out of control! Instead of reducing a task list during the work week, your list tends to grow. This is called “inventory” and it is one of the 7 forms of waste! This leaves you with a strong feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control, and you spend a lot of time sorting through the list to decide which tasks are most important.
Simply, take control of the list! The idea is to have a task list with three items on it. Yes, we said three! Take that monster list, dig in and critically prioritize where you end up with the Top 3 tasks on your list everyday. These tasks are of highest priority that align with your business goals. Now, you can start each day with a clear, manageable focus on just exactly what needs to happen every day. If you’re afraid of losing all the other ideas and tasks you need to complete, find a place to store them for later retrieval.
Another key is to break down each task into a manageable task to move it forward. Don’t put down items like “write a book” or “clean out garage.” Instead, put down tasks like “create book outline” or “clean out one container in garage.” These tasks should not be on your to-do list for days and weeks, otherwise they are too daunting and need to be more specific.
Embracing the Top 3
At first, this is just not going to seem either logical or practical. It takes time to make the practice a habit, and see the effectiveness. However, if you practice the Top 3, you will quickly fall into a habit that gets results. That monster to-do list reduces into a manageable form that works for you! Get up in the morning and attack the Top 3 with gusto. As you complete the Top 3, go straight to working on other items that are presenting as opportunities. Your day is not done when the Top 3 are complete. It simply means that you achieved a significant goal. You feel successful and accomplished, which changes your mindset. Working on other items in your realm will then feel like icing on the cake, with a cherry on top. It’s a great feeling to have the monster working for you and seeing success!
What tips and tricks are working for you? Add your comments below…