By 8:00 AM, some people have finished two loads of laundry, packed the kids off to school, checked their email, and are moving forward ticking items off their to-do lists at warp speed, leaving them with time to water-ski or snuggle with their kids and make it look effortless.
For many of us, our to-do list grows quicker than a dandelion in June, and is just as hard to get under control. Our time spent doing fun things is filled with thoughts about where else we should be and what we should be doing. What do they know that we don’t?
Don’t put it off. The longer an item stays on your to-do list, the more dread that builds up around doing it. Get it done, cross it off, and move on. If you’re not an early riser, then use your time the night before to get organized. A few minutes spent sorting out your task list while munching your bedtime snack will free your mind of what needs to be done and take you into blissful slumber. Follow the tips below and you will find your way to the end of your to-do list with ease.
Delegate: Great leaders know how to delegate tasks well and free-up their time for bigger picture issues. The first time you put someone else in charge of your task, it may seem like you’re spending more time talking about it than it would take you to actually do it. Think long-term, and realize you won’t have to do this task anymore. Add it up over a few weeks or months and you’ll see how much time you can save.
Watch out! You may think this won’t work for you because no one can do the job to your standards. If you live by the motto if you want something done right, do it yourself, you will always be overloaded with work. Do not assume that the person taking on the task will have the same idea as you of what is an acceptable outcome. Be clear about the results that you want, and give the person time to find a way to achieve them. If it doesn’t work out perfectly today, it will likely improve next week. Remember: you’re saving time over the long term.
Outsource: If grocery shopping takes you two hours each week and you could use that time for other tasks, consider finding a delivery service. Many large centres have online grocery services where you can create a shopping list once and update it each time to ensure you receive exactly what you need. If you’re in a smaller centre, talk to your local grocer about delivery service (you may not be the only customer who wants it) or consider hiring a neighbour or even your own teenager to carry out the task for you.