Mastering Productivity: How I Keep My To-Do Lists Organized as a Business Owner
As a business owner, the juggling act of managing tasks, projects, and responsibilities can be overwhelming (probably the understatement of the year), and mastering productivity isn’t always top of that list. A well-organized to-do list is a secret weapon for staying on top of your game. In this blog, we’ll delve into how I, as a multiple business owner and entrepreneur of over 20 years, keep my to-do lists organized to ensure efficiency, productivity, and success.
- Start with Prioritization: The first step in keeping my to-do lists organized is prioritization. Not all tasks are created equal, and some require immediate attention while others can wait. I use a simple system of categorizing tasks into three priority levels: high, medium, and low. This helps me focus on the most critical tasks first and ensures that nothing essential slips through the cracks. Every night, I write a short list (3-5 items, tops, that becomes my priority list for the next day. I always get those tasks done and the rest is a bonus.
- Utilize Time Blocking: Time blocking is a powerful technique that involves allocating specific blocks of time to different tasks or categories. As a business owner and solo homeschooling parent, my days are often filled with diverse responsibilities and a small human who demands attention. By dedicating specific time slots to certain types of work – such as meetings, strategic planning, and operational tasks – I can maintain focus and prevent tasks from bleeding into one another.
- Embrace Digital Tools: Gone are the days of handwritten to-do lists scattered across notebooks (although, I am still a HUGE fan of putting pen to paper and I love a good Post-it note reminder). Embracing digital tools can transform the way you organize your tasks. Project management platforms like Trello, ClickUp, Asana, Todoist, or Motion can allow you to create, manage, and prioritize tasks effortlessly. These tools also enable collaboration with team members, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
- Break Down Big Projects: Large projects can be daunting when viewed as a whole. I break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Each sub-task becomes a milestone on my to-do list, making the overall project feel less overwhelming. This approach not only enhances organization but also provides a sense of accomplishment as I check off completed tasks. You might also hear me call this “creating benchmarkers” for larger goals.
- Regular Reviews and Adjustments: To-do lists are dynamic and should be regularly reviewed and adjusted. I make it a habit to revisit my lists daily, crossing off completed tasks and reassessing priorities. This constant evaluation ensures that I stay adaptable in the face of changing circumstances or shifting business priorities. And remember, the goal isn’t really to finish a to-do list. The only time you will stop having a to-do list is when you’re dead.
- Incorporate Deadlines: Setting deadlines is crucial for keeping tasks on track. I assign realistic deadlines to each task based on its priority and complexity. This not only adds a sense of urgency but also helps me manage my time efficiently, preventing procrastination and ensuring that important tasks are completed on time.
In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, mastering productivity and the art of to-do list organization is a game-changer. By prioritizing, utilizing digital tools, breaking down projects, and incorporating deadlines, I maintain control over my workload, boost productivity, and propel my business toward success. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting, an organized to-do list is your ally in the pursuit of productivity (and badasserie).
Also, check out my Top 10 Tips to Boost Productivity
Are you in Bangkok? Join me and my badass business partner, Lynn Howard, for a special, LIVE Productivity workshop!
Another thing that can help with your productivity is your organization! Check out this blog with organizational tips and this blog about why organizing your office is so important