Of all the conversations I have with women entrepreneurs and small business owners, the one that comes up the most often is about their to-do list – specifically how to manage the many items on it.
Most women tell me that they use their to-do lists as a dumping ground for everything from daily tasks to big projects. Their list becomes the catchall for their to-dos, their new ideas, various notes and pretty much anything else they don’t want to forget.
You can see how a list like that leads to overwhelm – and I bet you’ve even experienced it. So today, I want to help you learn to manage your to-do list by categorizing your tasks. (And yes, I know that sounds like organizational overkill but if you want to stay focused and actually cross items off your list this week, you need to try this approach.)
To get started, pull out your current to-do list, or make a new pen-and-paper list of all the tasks you have bouncing around in your head. Then organize your list into the following categories:
ASAP (for items that are important to get to soon, i.e. ones with fast-approaching deadlines)
Finish by Friday (for items that are important but not as critical to the success of your business or tied to a firm deadline)
When I Get To It (for items that you can put off – maybe indefinitely. Or for things that you could potentially delegate, delete or delay from your list for a period of time)
As you’ve probably guessed, you need to address the ASAP items on your to-do list first. Schedule time to work on them and keep going until you get those items done because they are the things that propel your business forward.
After that, prioritize your “Finish By Friday” to-dos since they’re important too, just not as urgent. Then, and only then, should you work on the “When I Get to It” tasks, which, if I’m being really honest here, are rarely as essential as you think.
I invite you to try this approach, then jump into my free Facebook community to share your results and chat about to-do list strategies with smart, inspiring women entrepreneurs like you.