We've all got a lot to do. As life moves along, there's always many tasks to accomplish and goals to achieve. Is there ever a time where you don't have more than one task to complete? As tasks come from so many different areas including work, home, kids, education, and otherwise, I'm sure the answer if of course not!
When you've got so much going on, it's easy to let something slip by or let things get out of control. But, it doesn't have to be that way. If life has given you many things to juggle at once, here are some ways to keep things under control:
Write down your task list
This one may seem really basic, or if you're really crazy, you may say that there's no time for it, but writing down your task (or typing it into your phone, just so long as it's down somewhere that you'll look at) is key. Keep your task list together, and you'll be forced to look at what you have to do regularly which can prevent things from getting forgotten about.
Prioritize your tasks
Figure out a way to determine what tasks need to be done now, which can wait, and which may not even need to be done as time goes on. You'll want to update this, because a task that is low priority today may change to a higher priority down the line, especially if deadlines are involved.
If you said you're going to do something, then make sure people know what you're going to do and when. If things change, let them know that as well. I've found in my professional career as a project manager that nine times out of ten, when something happens that makes a delivery date late, the
Hold yourself accountable
If you say you're going to do something, make sure you do it, especially if you promise it to someone else. I have a family member who has a reputation for breaking promise after promise, and it all stems from the fact that she's never held herself accountable to deliver on what she promised.
When you finish a task, make sure you take it off your list. When you have something new, add it to your list. Re-organize your list if you need to. Whatever the case and however you track your tasks, always make sure that your list is current and easy to reference.
When you have something big to do, you might want to break it into smaller tasks. This way you'll have some milestone tasks. This is really important to understand your progress along the way.
Many times we do something that takes a lot of time, only to miss a step at the end. This can be more frustrating than not doing the job at all. If you do something and there's clean-up required, make sure to clean up! If you organize a committee to put on an event, make sure to send a thank you note! Many times, hard work goes unrecognized. This often has to do with the fact that many people don't take care of those last few details. Plus, when you're done, you get to cross your task off the list knowing that you're done!
When you finish a job or a task, make sure to celebrate the success. Doing so will provide self recognition for the work you've done.
If you've got a lot to do, things can get overwhelming very quickly. Get things under control. Otherwise, you'll find that the you get less done when it's most important to be efficient. By organizing your tasks and going through the steps above, you can make sure that you handle things smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.
Readers, when you have many things to do, how do you make sure to stay focused and on track? Have you ever completely had things gone off the rails? Please share your experiences and tips in the comments below.