We all love that feeling of checking off every single task we have on our daily lists, but how often does that happen in reality? We love the idea of being productive, but it is easy to fall into the trap of prioritizing the wrong things, letting time slip through our fingers and getting overwhelmed.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your daily To-Dos simple and easy to prioritize so you can maximize your productivity.
1. Separate Your Must-Dos and General To-Dos to Establish Urgency
First, it is crucial to determine which tasks you can wait on, and which must be completed right away. This can be accomplished by creating a two-columned list of “Must-Dos” and “General To-Dos.” The “Must-Do” column should contain one to three of the day’s most urgent items. Separating these tasks will give you a realistic view of where to direct your main focus throughout the day. Once your Must-Dos are checked off, your extra time can be allocated toward completing your general task list. Can you feel the peace of mind setting in already? Pretty soon you’ll be saying to yourself, “ONLY three tasks today? YES. I can tackle that!”
2. Establish Your Top Three Tasks for the Week
Once you have created your daily list, it is time to narrow things down even further to get clear on what you absolutely cannot miss. As they say, all good things come in threes, so, you guessed it – we will be establishing your TOP three tasks for the entire week. To do this, you will take a thorough look through your daily plans and pick which three tasks are going to help you reach your major goals. These will be listed as your top priorities for the week. This process lets you get laser-focused on what is vital to check off during your daily To-Dos. Phew! Easy enough, right?
3. Stay on Top of Your Must-Dos
Now that you have set yourself up for success and are more than prepared for the week ahead, it’s time to put this plan into action. Luckily, in this day and age, technology is by our side to support us with our daily checklists. If you prefer to set up digital reminders for your Must-Do tasks, calendar blocking is a great option. With calendar blocking, you can simply open your calendar app, select a timeframe to dedicate to your task and schedule it ahead of time so you will receive a reminder. Making sure you set a dedicated block of time to complete your most important tasks for the day and putting everything else aside will help you feel more in control of your day.
If you prefer to stick with traditional pen and paper, that’s great too. Writing down your lists may even help you with better memory retention. Keep your list propped up on your desk in front of you at your designated work area to keep it top of mind instead of out of sight and mind. Be sure to mute your phone notifications for less distractions throughout your work block.
4. Batch Similar Tasks Together to Stay Focused and Organized
The last tip is to batch similar tasks together to keep your mind at ease. Maintaining focus tends to be more difficult when we are doing things sporadically and trying to multitask. For example, you might typically respond to emails in the morning, run an errand in the afternoon and then write a newsletter when you return. This is probably more stressful than batching the related tasks and completing them in one go. You can rearrange your day to tackle writing the newsletter and decluttering emails in the morning hours, then focus on your errand to reduce multitasking.
At this point, you’re the master of prioritization and time management. Instead of overwhelmed, you will feel more freedom and confidence in the fact that your To-Dos will get DONE.
Big Buzz is a marketing agency delivering a steady stream of move-in-ready leads to teams serving the senior living industry. For more than 15 years, Big Buzz has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results, has been published in McKnight’s, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapters. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification, and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.