Taming the Task Beast: How to Survive when There's Too Much

You’re so busy fighting off alligators there’s hardly any time to breathe, much less think. Your only question is, “Which alligator do I fight off next?” So, what do you do to keep up with everything?

If your organizational tools aren’t doing the job anymore, here are some fresh ideas to help you come up with a plan that works.

  1. Evaluate your old task management system. What worked in the past may not be effective today. Maybe you’ve changed, matured, taken on a new role. When you or your role change, you should evaluate how you manage your workload to see if that method continues to meet your needs. If it doesn’t, try something else.

  2. Use what works. Maybe someone recommended a task management system they love and you’ve realized that you like parts of it but not everything. Eat the steak and leave the bones. In other words, adapt the parts you like and eliminate the parts you don’t like. Task management systems aren’t one-size-fits-all. Create a system that works for you.

  3. Prioritize. Determine what has to be done and set priorities. Then realistically decide how long it will take you to get those tasks done. What will you have to let go in order to get the priorities done? What distractions will you have to say no to?

  4. Create a corral and put all your non-priorities in there. Brain-dump those tasks and ideas to free your mind from distraction. Then, review the list. Decide if you need to Do them, Defer them, Delegate them or, my favorite, Delete them.

  5. Focus on what you accomplished. There always will be tasks left over to the next day. Instead of focusing on what didn’t get done, give yourself grace and focus on what did. What’s most important is that you get done the things that matter most and which are imperative to operating a successful business.


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