A To-Do list is a Virtual Assistant’s favourite friend…
We’ve all had it – ‘To-Do’ list angst! The constant battle to remain organised and ahead of the game, juggling competing deadlines and striving to exceed all objectives and expectations. Of course, a ‘To-Do’ list is great for increasing productivity and keeping us focused on the job in hand, however, this is only the case if the said list is used appropriately.
So, a quick question to all busy business entrepreneurs – how do you distinguish if you are using your list appropriately or completely mismanaging? Ask yourself this – how do you cope when faced with the unexpected? That 4:30 pm project lands hot and heavy on your desk – completion time – one hour from now! An I.T. failure kicks in as you are running your already late management report. A staff shortage at peak time. Yikes! If you are anything like me, the thought of all the above will have your body flushed with adrenaline (not.that.age.YET).
Just like life, ‘To-Do’ list madness will come in peaks and troughs – however, if your peaks are a little too peaky and your mood is a little too troughy, then it is definitely time to re-evaluate your position!
Top tips for To-Do lists
- Aim to organise your ‘To-Do’ list the night before. You will sleep better knowing you are prepared for the next working day – and bonus, you will start your day knowing exactly what you hope to achieve.
- Get that ‘To-Do’ list on paper or in digital format. This may sound obvious but you would be surprised by the number of people operating mental lists, relying on their memory to monitor and organise tasks. You don’t need this pressure!
- Define the purpose of each task and your expectations for completion. Is it an urgent or work in progress type task?
- Recognise that your list is fluid. Expect the unexpected so that when it happens, you can accept it and move on.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to complete your list. A recent survey found that 41% of ‘To-Do’ lists never get completed (Lifehacker). Besides, you are human and there is always tomorrow. Put some thought into why you failed to complete – in the majority of cases, this failure can be attributed to occurrences beyond your control e.g., a network failure, the info you need not being available etc.
- Know your limitations and be open about asking team members to assist. Delegation is a skill in itself, embrace and develop it!
- Explore time management techniques. At Business Aide, we champion the Pomodoro technique, breaking the working day into intervals and assigning tasks to each. This focus and flow approach helps minimise distractions and it’s great for self-evaluation. It may not work for every industry.
- Discover what works for you in terms of time management. If it works well, repeat it.
- Don’t be tempted to skip lunch and work late too often. Yes, flexibility is important in the workplace but regular breaks for your physical and mental health is absolutely key in preventing burn out. It’s also a legal requirement.
- Consider outsourcing tasks. At Business Aide, we are happy to take on a whole host of project support functions including administration, SEO, scheduling, copywriting and proofreading to name but a few. We are specialists in blitzing ‘To-Do’ lists, give us a call or drop us an email.
Virtual Assistant aka To-Do list Ninja
To accelerate your way through your to-do list and help grow your business faster and easier – take out one of our monthly packages. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org