10 Tips for Tackling To-do's
You’ve got to-do lists, we’ve got the tips.
You’ve just grabbed your 8 oz. almond milk latte with a half pump of organic sweetener - you’re going #healthy but not #tired. Your hair is curled but you’re make-up-free, rocking a podcast or the latest Halsey on your way to the office.
It’s moving in closer. Too close. And then…
The adrenaline. Or anxiety. Take your pick.
The back-to-work-after-the-holidays-but-not-quite-ready-yet nerves. 🙋🏻♀️
We get it. Early January rolls around and you’re inundated with tasks that didn’t quite make it under the 2018 bar: emails, notifications, slack requests, pings, beeps, DMs, etc. You’re bracing yourself for the miscellaneous clean up that’s been on hold or some back-burner since….October 31st? December 5th? Or whatever date it was when the holiday took over your schedule and paused your normal rhythm of life.
We’re in this together. Chugging our lattes. Making lists.
We’ve gathered together to form the the ultimate task-hacking tips to tackle your to-do’s. These are the things that helped us, we’re sure they’ll help you too! ✨
Ready, Set… Tackle 🏃🏻♀️
Before you start:
1. Brain dump. Write down everything.
Step one, deep breath! Step two… write. it. ALL. down. Everything you can think of that must get done needs to go on paper.
2. Bucket your tasks by category. Create MEGA-lists.
With you brain dump in mind, write out every category and subcategory you can think of that your tasks would fall into - then begin to write each detailed to-do in it’s proper category (step by step if you can!) This will help with knowing where you “are” in the progress of each category as you cross things off through the day or week.
3. Plan your week, sans Friday.
Take your MEGA to-do lists and assign them to each day of your week Monday-Thursday. Break each of these lists into what you can accomplish in one day. We often over-estimate what we can accomplish in one day, so we recommend leaving Friday as your “catch-all”.
3. If anything takes 5 minutes or less… do it right away!
This rule has saved us. If it takes 5 minutes, just plan to do it right away. (Be realistic, overachievers. If there’s a chance it takes more than 5 - dont think about it!)
4. Plan according to your most productive rhythms… when to think, when to move.
Does your mind work best in the morning, and your body better later in the day? Plan accordingly! Use your very best brain power first, then move into more physical or simple tasks. If vice versa, swap it!
5. Schedule it!
Plan what days and times you will tackle each category or subcategory, and put it in your calendar. Make sure it’s all in there - even the small things! This way you have accountability and a time limit.
Once you start:
6. One thing at a time - NO MULTITASKING!
Multi-tasking has recently received a re-brand and is now called Context Switching. At Petalfox, we use a project management tool, called Wrike, to organize internal tasks. This Wrike Blog post states that 40% of productivity is lost, due to context switching. If you’re thinking about too many things, you won’t be using your best powers and you’ll probably take twice as long, if not longer to be efficient. One thing at a time and double down on your time!
7. Emails are evil. Tackle them in chunks only.
Emails add to the mental flurries that can swarm your brain and steal your mental energy. Schedule times to check your emails that make sense, in between your tasks. If not - you’ll all too easily get distracted and get lost!
8. If it’s not working, move on!
This may seem odd - but if it’s “not happening” in your brain - and you really can’t focus - change it up! Set it aside and move on as fast as possible. Too much energy is often wasted trying to force something to happen that just isn’t happening. Once you start making progress somewhere else, it will get the juices flowing to come back to your original task!
9. Finish your big tasks and treat yourself with a small “reward.”
By reward we mean the small things… need to use the bathroom? Can you hold it until your task is done? Want to send that text to a friend? Write it down on a sticky note and do it after your task. Want another treat or drink? Finish your task!
10. Re-evaluate your to-do’s for the next day.
Look at all you accomplished today! Cross everything off and whatever you didn’t complete - write it out for tomorrow. Re-evaluate tomorrow’s list and create a rough draft of your next day’s schedule.
✨ Last tip: ✨
For a healthier, more hydrating drink, try a “London Fog” - a black tea (preferably Earl Gray) with milk or milk alternative (we love almond milk!)
You’ve got this boss babes.