A new week is about to start. Are you ready for it or overwhelmed by all you need to get done? You keep checking things off the giant list you created, but damn if you feel like you’ve gotten anything done.
Does it sound familiar?
The key to being productive isn’t a secret as so many say. Don’t believe anyone that tells you they have a secret to daily productivity that will work for you. What they have is a system that works for them. Will it work for you? Who knows, but don’t throw money at them too quickly to buy their system if you don’t know what you are looking for yet. Here are five ways to organize daily tasks efficiently and productively. See if they work for you.
Many people mistake prioritizing tasks with ordering them. The tasks that receive the highest priority should be the task that will generate the most profit or results. For example, email should probably never be your first priority. However, planning your next product launch is a top priority task because it leads to more profits and a bigger business. Email is something you can likely manage during lunch or at the end of the day. Or better yet, outsource to an assistant.
Believe me, I know you just cringed and in your head said “NO WAY” to my outsourcing your email. I’ve said it as well. But how much time do you spend sending pretty much the same email to people and deleting even more garbage in your inbox? Go through your common replies and come up with a few for your VA to use. If it’s a new VA relationship then they will contact you when they are unsure of what you would like them to send. That’s how good VA’s work.
Did you just read that your priority should be things that will make you money? I hope you did. Things like writing a post, creating a product or writing emails for your list are money making activities.
The best time to plan tomorrow is at the end of today. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and prepare for the day ahead. This helps you prioritize without the distractions of the day. It also helps you sleep better because you have a plan. No waking up 4 times in the night because things you remembered popped into your head. Or even worse, not being able to get to sleep because of all the things running through your head.
I had planned to have my own planner created, but it’s not ready for this year. This year I am using BlogEnergizer’s blog planner again. It’s free and can be printed or used digitally.
Use a system that works for you
There are a lot of experts that tout their system as the only one that really works. Some people work quite well with notebooks. Others need a software program or calendar like google calendar. Still others benefit from using their smartphone and one of the many apps. Find a system that works for you and use it consistently.
Here’s the trick for the system that works for you…it’s the one you use. I have regular calendar type things on my phone. I use google, but I still don’t use it much for biz stuff. Just appointments. The majority of my tasks and to-do list is on good old pen & paper. I’ve tried other ways and I am just too old school and want to physically cross tasks off. Paper, digital document, physical planner or phone, what are you going to check daily and multiple times a day to cross things off your list? That’s the one you want to go with. Don’t change something if it’s working. Just expand on it and make it better.
Meaning, if you are using paper, then get your papers organized. Print off some fun printables and use them. I’ve been putting together my biz notebook. It was a wreck with papers everywhere. Now each site has it’s own tab.
If you are using digital, then make sure it’s all in one spot. Don’t use multiple planning apps. Evernote, OneNote, and Wunderlist have great reviews. I use OneNote for notes on my phone because it also syncs to my computer.
Celebrate your successes
It’s easy to look back on the day and see what you didn’t accomplish. Yet it’s much more powerful to look back on your day and acknowledge what you did accomplish. It helps you embrace a positive mindset. It prepares you for a productive tomorrow. It pushes you to do that extra work the next day because you saw some money from the work you did yesterday.
When you celebrate success, it leads to more success. Easy to get a snowball rolling downhill after it starts.
One of the easiest ways to make the most of your daily tasks is to plan ahead. Take a look at your goals and create a reasonable plan to achieve them. Assign daily tasks for yourself throughout the month or quarter. Then sit down and plan your weeks ahead of time. When you can take a look at a week or a month and know what you need to accomplish, it’s much easier to plan your day.
Good planning and productivity are a habit. Habits are created by consistently focusing on replacing bad habits with good habits. If you have bad habits, identify one and work on replacing it with a good habit. Give yourself about three to four weeks to adopt this new habit. Once you’ve achieved success then you can add another new habit. Little by little you’ll adopt a lifestyle of good habits that result in well organized and productive days.