Two Steps to Take Control of Your Task List
I am pretty sure I am not alone feeling that I have way too much to do and not enough time. Work, house, kids, dog… The task list, also known as a to-do list, goes on forever. I used to feel overwhelmed with my lists. I would have a list on a notecard, and start another list on my phone. I would cross of three items from my list and add five new items. It truly was like a hamster running in a wheel. I could never catch up. That is until I started using learning from these two virtual mentors.
Step 1: Chalene Johnson
My first trusted virtual mentor is Chalene Johnson. As a fitness enthusiast, I have completed most of Chalene’s workouts (Chalean Extreme, Turbo Fire, PIYO) and follow her on social media. She is not only a fitness coach, but a life coach. She is a person that leads and teaches. Her New York Times bestseller, PUSH: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin’ Body, and the Life You Deserve was life changing.
In my opinion, one of the most important sentences in Chalene’s book is, “Your goals should mesh with your priorities.” She continues to explain saying,
“Your goals should mesh with your priorities. All of them. Ask yourself if the goal could compromise one or all of your priorities. If so, is there a way to accomplish nearly the same results in a creative way that doesn’t compromise your priorities?”
What does that mean and how will it help you take control of your to do list? Simple. It means that if an item on your to do list is not going to directly help you reach your goals and takes your time away from priorities, then don’t do it. It’s that simple. For example, let’s say you run a retail store selling custom stationery, invitations and housewarming/hostess gifts. Your priority is to increase sales by reaching out to the community and giving back, while still having ample free time to spend with your family. Some items that would mesh with your priorities are;
- Creating invitations for a community fundraising event.
- Creating custom baskets or auction items for a well-attended charity event.
- Scheduling time for work and time for family.
Some items that would NOT mesh with your priorities are;
- Attending Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas and missing your child’s recital.
- Managing all aspects of your business, including items that can be delegated like creating social media images, traditional marketing and email marketing.
- Saying yes to any requests, such as pet sitting, managing the soccer team…
Learn more about Chalene by following her on Instagram. She shares valuable information for anyone in business, as well as life lessons.
Step 2: Brian Tracy
The one-and-only Brian Tracy is my second virtual mentor. Remember that list I was talking about? Brian Tracy was instrumental in helping me manage that never-ending list. Eat That Frog was the first book of his that I read. There were so many takeaways that I can’t even begin to write about all of them. It is a book that you need to read and highlight items as you go along.
Brian Tracy suggests that in order to be productive, you need to plan your day in advance. An important part of that plan is to break down larger tasks into manageable parts. For instance, if you have to write an e-book for a client, instead of your list saying “write e-book”, your list should look something like this;
✔️Define the audience
✔️Determine scope of project
✔️Craft a working title
✔️Create an outline
✔️Work on rough draft for outline items 1 and 2
✔️Research quotes to support your points
✔️Write a first draft
✔️Send first draft to editor
✔️Revise as suggested
✔️Decide on graphic designer to create final look
To read more about Brian’s thoughts on productivity, read this blog post.
Brian and Chalene quickly became my virtual mentors. By following their simple advice, I have been able to accomplish more in less time. I no longer feel like my list controls me. I am in complete control and can easily manage my day while being more productive in less time. Who doesn’t want to do that? How do you manage your lists? Any advice to share? Please comment below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”