How long is your task list? Do you add more items than you take away?

Chances are your task list is out of control. In this post I examine how you can achieve more by doing less.

Want to know more?

Each morning many of us get in to work and power up their computer. Whilst they are doing this they typically get a coffee.

When the computer has finished cranking up, the first application that most people open is Outlook (or equivalent email, task, calendar management program).

They then start reading emails.

At that point their day starts to go wrong. It goes wrong because they enter various rabbit holes and end up being distracted responding to various requests.

They’re working, but not on what they planned to do and before they know where they are, they are either working late into the evening or taking work home with them.

So how do you stop this spiral occuring?

Don’t read emails first thing.

Instead, do the first item on your task list. Then do the next.

In fact only check emails after you’ve been in for an hour and then don’t check them till lunchtime and then don’t check them until an hour before you go home.

This ‘batching’ of emails will help you take control of your email and stop it managing you.

If you set regular time for reading and responding to emails you’re going to get more done. Simple. The reason because you are going to be less distracted and less inclined to go down the rabbit holes which suck away your day.

Task List first

When you get in in the morning why don’t you take 3 items off your task list and work on the first one until it’s complete. If the task is a ‘call xxxx’ and they aren’t in then you can move to the second item on your task list.

Only when you have completed all 3 items on your mini task list can you add 3 more from your master list. Again keep working through these until they are all complete.

Get more done

So, by ‘batching’ your emails and using the time between meetings to catch up on your task list rather than your emails you will get more done.

What do you think?

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