If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that every single woman in business overloads their to-do list daily. I don’t just mean it in the sense of ‘having too much to do’, I’m referring to physically adding too much on the daily agenda.
I’ll give you an example.
The Unachievable To-Do List
The night before (or first up in the morning) I jot down everything that needs to be completed for the day. Rather than stop at that achievable level of productivity, I’ll chuck on some business planning, upcoming other tasks and sometimes a couple of life admin for good measure too.
Are you nodding your head right now?
Without fail at the end of the day, I need to move some of my tasks to the next day. Whilst this doesn’t worry me in the slightest because lists and stuff don’t stress me out + I would rather have it on my list than miss it, I know for some of you it can end up in a bit of overwhelm, tail chasing and feeling like you will never finish that to do list.
Why do we do it? It’s it the glamorisation of busyness? Is it tied to feelings of self-worth? I suspect it’s a mix of the two.
Why we self-sabotage
Women-led business owners tend to be time-poor. Most of us have children, some have alternative employment, other commitments and the like. So, when we do get a coveted few hours to spend working on or in the business, we want to turbo-charge it.
Again, does this sound familiar? Keep reading.
Secondly, running your own business is hard. Most of us are learning as we go. We innovate and shift gears at a rapid rate. Cue: imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is tied to our self worth and when we can’t get through our work? We feel like imposters. Not productive enough. Not smart enough. Not savvy enough.
So, we work harder. And longer.
Before we know it, we’re repeating this pattern day after day and we run out of steam.
Create a short, achievable to-do list.
If you do one thing today, please, PLEASE re-think your workload planning and make sure it works for you and your needs.
Imagine walking into your office and knowing you’re going to smash your goals today. Imagine if you could do it without sacrificing your self-care, family time or my frequent choice, sleep – still working on that one ;-).
Wouldn’t that feel AMAZING?
I love my To Do lists. They’re MOTIVATING because I know they’re achievable. I feel accomplished at the end of the day. I don’t feel overwhelmed trying to do all of the things before school drop off.
The Magic To-Do List
I create 3 to-do lists. I’ve been doing this for some time and really love it, so I hope it helps someone else feel a bit more organied. Note to self – order new notepad!
- A master list that includes long-term business strategy and goals that take a longer time to complete. For example, creating a new download. You might like to keep to 4 key master goals and don’t add a new one until you’ve completed perhaps 2 of them. This stops you overloading it and feeling overwhelmed.
- A weekly project list: this is a weekly plan detailing everything that needs to be completed that week. For example, client work, business blogs, invoicing etc. Only add tasks that have to be done. Don’t add any long term goals to this one.
- A high-impact list which is also known as your daily to-do list. Only add achievable items here. Structure it by time if you have to. For example, client X account reconciliation: 3 hours, business blog: 2 hours, client communication: 1.5hrs. If you do manage to whiz through this list, choose a project from your master list to work on.
- And repeat.
Every day doesn’t have to mean skipped lunches and hustling!
How do you manage your workload? I’d love to hear, always looking for awesome time savers and learning new processes.
PS – here’s my old to do pad with one page on it I didn’t want to use the last page and have been using trusty plain old note books! Thanks Birdcage Marketing <3