It doesn’t matter what hour of the day, day of the week, or month of the year it is, there always seems to be something more to do. The task list of a salesperson is never-ending, and if you don’t take control of it, it will swallow you whole.
These 5 tips are meant to help you shrink that long to-do list into a more manageable form, increasing productivity and decreasing the amount of wasted time.
1) Write Everything Down
First of all, I’d highly encourage you to write down your to-dos. Programs like Evernote can help, but even a pen and a pad of paper work fine too. Without outlining what you need to do, you won’t be able to take advantage of the rest of these tips, and you’ll just increase your stress levels unnecessarily.
Once you have that big list of to-dos, categorize your tasks by levels of importance. The high, medium and low priority approach is a classic and still works well. Take that overwhelming list and cut it down into sections so you can visually see which tasks need your attention today or even right this minute. You can then stop thinking about the low-priority tasks that don’t necessarily need your attention ASAP.
3) Do That “One Thing”
In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller asks you to ponder a powerful question: “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary?”
Finding that one thing narrows your list down even further. Your most important items are dissected until you find the most important one. Complete this task and the rest of your day will be easier.
4) Set Deadlines
If a project doesn’t have a deadline, give it one. It’ll help you with tips 2 & 3. If something doesn’t need to be done until next month, it’s going to have a lower priority. You can also call out the tasks that need your attention right away because of a closer deadline.
For each item on your list, ask yourself, should I really be doing this?
Would someone else be better suited for the job, especially if it’s just busy work? An intern perhaps?
It’s hard to give up control, but if you can find a way to delegate tasks, you’ll free up a ton of time.
The to-do list doesn’t have to control us! Take steps to make sure you’re maximizing the output of your time.
How do you manage your to-do list?