Tag Archives: To Do

5 Ways to Keep Your TO DO List Small

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Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
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Every day is another day that can add to your extensive list of TO-DOs and responsibilities. What if I told you, you could keep a shorter list of commitments in 5 simple, effective ways? Thank God someone is thinking of these things, right?!

YES – Notepad & PenIsolated

The Strategic “Yes”. Don’t just say NO when you’re overwhelmed. You want to be a team player, but let’s be reasonable. You can’t take more things on when you already have so much on your plate. Instead, opt for a strategic yes, when you’re with company who expects participation and “pitching in”. How do you do this? By reviewing agendas, your calendar, and your unique ability to do something quickly. Volunteer strategically, when there’s room in your calendar. When things on the agenda which are quick and easy tasks you are uniquely qualified to do and you know you can get them done quickly. Those awkward silences will feel less stressful when you’ve already decided when/where and for what you will be participating in. With a strategic yes plan, you will find that you’re feeling less and less overwhelmed all the time. And when that happens, you will be seen as the least likely person in the room for saying “No” do to being overwhelmed. Showing overwhelm does not instill confidence.

Check the Web. We often forget that a single task may be taken care of in multiple ways. So, why are you taking twice as long to do the same task others have completed in no time at all? Especially true for tasks that you know others are performing too, you can find a better way to get the work done through a little research. You may even find that someone has developed a program that will do the work for you. You’ll feel wonderful crossing the task off your list, for the last time.

Outsource. Whenever possible, get others to help you with your TO-DO list. You can maximize your time when you hand off the tasks that don’t require your specific attention. If you don’t know what those tasks are, why not ask a #VirtualAssistant to describe the types of tasks they handle for their clients? Ask your friends, family, and colleagues what they would outsource too. When you’re free to do what you do best, you’ll succeed in ways you never thought possible.

Purge Excessive Systems. Analyze and locate the systems and functions that act as a “back up” method, and wherever possible GET RID OF THEM. Understand, we’re not talking about data backups in case of a computer crash. We’re talking about doing the same task twice, in different locations. For example, if you’re tracking sales data in a spreadsheet and then going into Quickbooks or some other financial software to put the same information in…chances are your not using reporting functions or all the utilities #Quickbooks has to offer. Stop doing the same task twice, and learn the most sophisticated program in its entirety.

Get Uncomfortable. As you review your list of TO-DOs, ask yourself if you’ve overcommitted. If you feel that you have, contact select people you have commitments with and let them know. They may already have a solution that will help you through the process. Perhaps they’re able to extend a deadline, or ‘call in the cavalry’ to help you check the task off your list sooner. Be selective with whom you contact, choosing the tasks that have the least ROI (return on investment) whether it’s a financial return or a satisfaction return. There’s more satisfaction/financial return in the long run when you push yourself to get a little uncomfortable on occasion.

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