Overwhelm Buster Series: 3 Steps to Increase Your Productivity By Cutting Your To Do List in Half
As part of cleaning out the papers and junk in my basement I moved down there almost two years ago, I am now finally going through items in bags, buckets, and bins one-by-one.
I’m discovering lots of “freebies”, or free white papers or content I downloaded from coaches or experts on areas I wanted to learn more about.
The several I went through last weekend had to do with the topic of “overwhelm”.
Let me put a plug in here for listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and taking action on his voice.
I could have just taken these bags and tossed them in the trash bin, cutting my time significantly. But I felt compelled to go through each item.
I believe God gives you every resource when it is time to use them. At the beginning of my business five to six years ago when I printed those white papers, I did feel overwhelmed. Now as I am busier in my business learning strategies on being more productive is actually right on the mark.
I discovered an article – “How to Cut Your To-do List by 50%” by Laura Vermont with “Mom Goes Online”. She, like me, concluded that to make the mom-biz-life thing work she needed to seriously ramp up her productivity skills. Laura notes that to-do lists are great. But they can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, demotivated without the tools to manage them.
To add the Christian Biz twist, I would say that discouragement is Satan’s number one tool to derail you from staying on track with your vision. Overwhelm can lead to inaction, which only makes matters worse and can even completely shut down your business and movement towards your dreams.
Here’s Laura’s practical productivity recipe with my Christian Biz twist:
- Use Stephen Covey’s 4 Quadrant system to classify all of your tasks. (Mina link to a photo of Covey’s diagram.) Remember God gives you plenty of time to complete the unique mission he has given you to do in this life, including time for rest and leisure.
- Quadrant 1 = Urgent and Important
- Quadrant 2 = Important but non-urgent
- Quadrant 3 = Urgent and non-important
- Quadrant 4 = Non-urgent and non-important
- Either eliminate or move Quadrant 4 items to a “Do Later”, “Don’t Do”, list to clear the clutter from your main to-do list.
- Stay on Top of Your To-Do List with the Post-It Note Method:
- At the end of the day, grab a post-it note.
- Write the top task you want to achieve the next day on your post-it note, in order of priority. Include two Quadrant 2 tasks that will move your business and life forward, and no more than five other tasks in Quadrant 1, 2, or 3.
- The next day, work through the tasks on your post-it notes. Motivational speaker Les Brown also encourages writing a list of around seven to-do items the night before. This gives your unconscious the opportunity to figure out how to help you accomplish those tasks in the time you have available the following day. I would also see giving God some lead time into what you plan to do rather than wing-in, allows him to suggest any adjustments you also might want to make for the best implementation.
Instead of being and staying overwhelmed, which leads to inaction, you’ve created a system to steadily get the most important tasks done each day.
But I’m a vision gal. Without clarity on your vision, learning to be more productive won’t necessarily help you move in the direction you want to go if that direction is not clear. Let me help you get clarity on your Holy Spirit inspired vision by going to http://talkwithchristina.com for a Manifesting Your Vision session with me.
Christian Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tip: Success involves three parts – 1) knowing with crystal clarity your Holy Spirit-inspired vision, 2) knowing the right things to get you there, and 3) actually doing the right things on a daily basis to the best of your ability.