A couple blank sheets of paper (or a fresh Word doc)
1. Drink coffee
We're entrepreneurs not super humans.
2. Write everything down in one place
Take each task that’s important in your world and write it down in one place. I've been there before where there's sticky notes here and a scratch piece of paper there, a to-do list and a couple timed reminders on your phone (and let’s not even mention my calendar).
Don’t leave anything out. Everything that you feel is urgent and pressing, anything that has been lingering in the back of your mind, random ideas of inspiration, all of your to-dos (personal & business), etc.
3. Put Tasks In Order of Priority
Once everything is written down in one place and you’ve got a birds eye view of all that needs to get done, start dividing things up based on priority. You can take a look at the image below and use it as a guide on how to prioritize your tasks.
*I include things for my business as well as things that are for my family and personal life. The way I see it is, I’m one person and I have the same amount of hours in a day regardless of how many times I change hats.
4. Determine what you can get done (realistically)
Once things are placed in areas based on urgency determine what you can realistically get done today. I know you're optimistic, I am too, but again you are not a superhuman and no amount of coffee will make you one. I’ve been there when most, if not all of my list, feels like the highest priority, but you only have so many hours in a day and it’s important to have balance. Believe it or not, you (and your family) need to eat more than just Red Baron frozen pizza for dinner. Hey, it happens to the best of us!
So, decide what you are going to accomplish today and stick to your goal. For me a realistic goal is getting 3 of my highest priorities done in a day and if I have more time to work, I’ll tackle more on my list.
*It’s better to aim realistically and feel accomplished, than be over zealous and always feel like an underachiever.
5. Create Incentives for yourself when you complete a task
I read an article that encouraged people to create incentives for completing tasks. No not naps... totally kidding :) I thought this was a brilliant idea, because you can’t expect yourself to be at 100% energy and efficiency the entire day, so creating incentives or short breaks after completing a task will actually make you more focused and effective while executing tasks. That way you are working towards a goal rather than working endlessly.
Remember, you set the tone for your day. Don't let your day run you. Take 10 minutes to strategize before your day takes off and then execute! Hit your goals and if/when you don’t, give yourself some grace and start again. You got this! Now go get ‘er done!