4 Ways to Tame the To-Do List

Dear Leader Who Has a Mile Long To - Do List, 

When you’re growing your business, it’s easy to feel like you need to do more in order to get more results.  Your list of to-dos are piling up, you start things and don’t finish them, and it’s hard to feel accomplished at the end of the day.  

My commitment is to help you stress less as a leader, so today’s letter is full of tips to help you tame your to-do list.  

But first, let’s “start with why” and keep you vision and top priority goal for the week in mind.  By using that as a filter, it helps to filter your decision on how to make the most of your time spent on tasks.    

DELETE the tasks that don’t matter.  

Sometimes we’re doing so much that we forget to stop and ask, “Do I really have to do this?”  Deleting tasks that don’t matter and saying no to things that don’t support us and our goals can be a very freeing feeling.  

With your top priority goal in mind, what’s something(s) you can DELETE from your list?  

What’s something that you can put on your NOT TO DO list?  

 Some of my favorite things to DELETE are: canceling appointments or events that don’t have a purpose, and things just to keep me busy or distract me from the work.  

AUTOMATE repetitive and on-going tasks.  

There are some things that don’t actually require a human to do, but still need to be done.  These are some things you can automate so you can save your thinking and your energy on more valuable things.  

For example, I automate some of my bill paying, social media posting, and client scheduling.  I can always check in to keep an eye on it, but it doesn’t require extra energy to do it.   

DELEGATE things that are outside your zone of genius.  

You can’t do it all, or at least, you can’t do it all well.  You can take some things off of your plate by delegating tasks to a partner, team member, intern, or friend.  It does require letting go of control, but trusting someone else enough to do the thing even better than you could allows them to step up and serve you, and free up your time and energy to operate in your zone of genius.  

Ask yourself: As the CEO, what are the things that only I can do?  

Stick to doing those well, and looking for people to train and trust to be able to delegate those tasks to.  

DO the things that matter.  

Once you’ve whittled down your list, you can DO the tasks that you know will move you forward towards your goals.  You can do them one at a time to stay focus on the task at hand.  Then, crossing them off will help you feel accomplished.  

Once you work these 4 strategies to your weekly (or daily) to do list, you will build more intentional thinking muscles so you can learn to steward your time and talent well.  The less busy work you can do, and the more simple and focused you can be, you’ll find that you can be even more productive and impactful.

With joy,