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Blog: Working From Home
Six Secrets to Getting Your To-Do List DONE!

Are you overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list? Do you have notes covered with tasks you need to do, but can't get to? Do you feel like you can never get caught up? You're right! You can't!

The average person has so many things to do that if they did nothing else but work on those things didn't go to work, had no personal life, nothing and added nothing new to their list - it would take approximately 10 weeks to get it all done! What does that tell you? It tells you no one gets everything done that's on their list!

But some people DO complete most of their to-do list every day! How in the world do they do that!? They are very selective about what they put on their list. If it's not really important, it doesn't make the list at all. If someone else can do it, they're happy to hand it off. They accept that work takes time, and you can only do so much in a day.

Be like them. You MUST set priorities. And you must be prepared to accept that some things will never get done.

  1. Whenever you add a task to your list, include a realistic estimate of how large a block of time it will take.
  2. Prioritize. Decide which two or three tasks absolutely MUST be done by the end of the day.
  3. Fit the time blocks into your schedule. Identify specific times during the day when you will complete those important tasks and make an appointment with yourself. Actually enter them in your calendar. If the project is large, break it down into segments that can be done in 60-90 minutes and spread them out over however many days are necessary to get the job done. Eliminate other things if you have to.
  4. Tackle the MOST important task first thing in the morning and get it done, before other issues grab your attention. Don't even look at your email or listen to voicemail until after the most important task is done.
  5. Discipline yourself to stay focused and avoid distractions throughout the day. Don't be tempted to finish up all the little tasks that are nagging at you so that you can "really concentrate" on that important one. Before you know it, your day will be gone without much to show for it. Check email briefly every couple of hours if you must, but skim for those that MUST be answered immediately. Same thing for voicemail.
  6. Remember, you will never have time to do all the things on your list, so make peace with that fact and get the most important ones done!
As with most things, the 80/20 rule applies. 20% of the tasks on your list will contribute to 80% of your success. The secret lies in determining which items really deserve to be on your list!

posted on: 11/8/2010 9:55:42 PM by Elaine Quinn, Author & Speaker
category: Business

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Working From Home

by Elaine Quinn, Author & Speaker

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About Elaine:

Elaine Quinn is an internationally recognized expert on organizing, time management and productivity for the work-from-home solo professional. She is the author of "There's No Place Like Working From Home," filled with tips for solopreneurs who want to get organized, stay motivated and get things done. Learn more at www.NoPlaceLikeWorkingFromHome.com.

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