Personal Development

Make Your To-Do List Disappear

I was on a call the other day with a coaching client, and he said something that made me chuckle. 
But it also sparked today’s message.
I’d asked the client towards the end of our call, “What can I do for you this week to make sure you accomplish your goals?”
Without skipping a beat, he said:
“Wave a magic wand and disappear my to-do lists this week”
While it provided a nice laugh… It also got my mind spinning about how I could help him (and you!) with productivity. 
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for that edge (competitive advantage) to get more done as the days never seem long enough.
The 4 Tips Below don’t include waving a magic wand… 
But they should provide you with ammo to get more done if you can apply them to your business/life.
Tip #1: Cut Your Deadlines In Half
This might sound counterintuitive as it seems to cause more stress. But let me explain… 
Most of us wait until the last minute anyways to complete tasks/hit deadlines. 
If your deadline is 4 weeks away… you are going to wait until the last minute to complete that project. 
It’s human nature. 
By cutting deadlines in half, you will get that project done quicker, PLUS it might force you (in a good way) to ask for help from your team to accomplish that goal. 
I guarantee you’ll still hit it.
AND this will free up your time/headspace for other projects or personal time.
Tip #2: Time Block
I’ve been speaking about this a lot lately.

I even presented on time blocking yesterday during an “all-hands” meeting with our team. 
I can’t explain all of it in this article…

But the gist is to create 3-5 time blocks each day in order for you to stay focused, disciplined and consistent throughout the week with your workflow.
Ideally, these are 90-minute blocks which are dedicated to one specific task or activity.
Your first time block in the morning should start with your “Magic Time” — where you focus on your #1 priority to move you ahead in business or life. 
Getting that one thing right first thing in the morning is like a domino effect for winning your day. 
It’s an absolute game changer when you follow this.
#3: Erase Off Your To-Do List
Most of us have some type of to-list that we use each day as a guide to what needs to get done. 
Some days that to-do list might be a lot longer than other days.
Here’s my challenge to you (which will help with productivity):
Each day I challenge you to “Erase” at LEAST 1-2 items off that list. I know this is hard as we feel like everything is urgent on our to-do list.
But from my experience and working with many others, when we shrink down our to-do list it relieves stress, gives us a new sense of power, and allows us to stay more focused and productive.
So, starting today…
Look at your to-do list and start “Erasing” tasks off that list that are not urgent, timely, or going to move the needle forward in your business.
If “erasing” means delegating more…that’s fine! 
The challenge is for you to shrink YOUR to-do list daily and weekly.
#4: Take More Breaks
Yes. I am giving you permission to take more breaks during the day/week. 
As much as we want to convince ourselves that we can grind all day long and outwork everyone else…
The truth is we need breaks, time away from our screens, and the space to allow ourselves to refresh and recharge. 
There are many different ways you can do this. But one suggestion is to take mini breaks during the day. 
What works well for me (and others) is to take 3-4 mini (15 minute) breaks during the workday. 
And if you follow the time-blocking strategy I talked about earlier, adding these 15 minute breaks between each time block works beautifully.
You could go for a walk. Grab a snack. Play with your dog. Meditate. Cat nap. Spend 15 mins on a hobby… Anything really.
The purpose is to take a brief step away from work and allow yourself a few minutes to recharge. 
While you might feel guilty at first taking breaks from work, it will help your productivity, I promise!
When you use these 4 Tips you’ll get more done, work less, and have less stress. 
Your to-do list won’t disappear instantly…
But I guarantee you’ll fly through it faster and more easily.

Daniel Woodrum

Early To Rise, Head Coach

Daniel Woodrum

Daniel Woodrum is a Certified Turbulence Trainer from Greenville, South Carolina, who plays an active role in the Greenville Hospital System, a leading-edge sports performance center that uses scientific methods to train individuals of all abilities from elite athletes, TBI, MS, and Parkinson disease.

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