Most people in business know at least several models of GTD – or Getting Things Done – there seems to be as many ways to get organized, get productive, and get work done as there are types of businesses out there!
If you’ve ever felt like your to-do list was managing you rather than the other way around – try this:
To-Do Lists – the good, the bad, and the ugly…
To-do lists are great… in a way. It is a fantastic way of doing a brain-dump of all that info in your head that you need to do, from picking up bread and milk (snow is coming!), to landing that new client. And yes, it takes some measure of energy and focus to remember all those things in your head. For that reason, to-do lists are great – get it out of your head and onto paper where you don’t have to worry about remembering it.
Now for the bad… for many of us, to-do lists are a source of stress and anxiety! And what does stress and anxiety breed? Procrastination. Yep, it’s a scientific fact. Sound like a vicious cycle? It is!
I do a “brain dump” every morning, where I unload all of those things that I need to get done onto my master task list. But hey, I’m human, I’m a mom, I’m a business owner (of multiple businesses), and until they make personal assistant robots a thing, there’s only so much I can get done in one day… so the master task list is just that – a safe place to get all that stuff out of my head.
5 – before – 10 … huh?
Then – and here’s the key – pick a specific number of things from that list, these are your focus for the day. Some people use the “5 before 10” method: they pick 5 things to finish before 10am. Myself, I use a 3-before-10 method – my days are often hectic and packed, but also often require a lot lf flexibility for those unexpected things that pop up that need to be taken care of.
Pick your number of things from your list to make your main focus, to do before 10am, and you’ll be shocked at how much more productive you’ll become.
Most importantly – make sure those three (or however many you choose) tasks are ones that are furthering you toward your goals, or are in close alignment with your ultimate priorities! This is a must… and it will help eliminate those time-waster activities.
Remember: busy does not equal productive! Be smart about your priorities and your goals, and pick your tasks with those always in mind!
Want to read more about the 5-before-10 method of GTD? Check out this article on Business2Community