Each week brings its to-do’s. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Before we start swimming in the to-do’s each morning, we can take a few minutes to pray and to ask God to lead us and to help us accomplish what He wants done that day. After praying, we can use the wise, practical advice from the guest post below from Jenny Flintoft, director of The Association of Work at Home Women:
Deadline, Delegate, Dump
We’ve all been there – To Do lists that are becoming epic in their content – designing squeeze pages, writing for our blogs, phone calls, product creation, attending teleseminars – life can sometimes consume us and leave us feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.
Feeling like that is only going to mean that jobs and tasks take longer, which only serves to overwhelm us even further. But good news! You can do something to regain control. I guarantee that if you take 20 minutes to follow these steps, you will feel better, lighter, focused and re-energised. Okay – let’s go!
Step 1. Write down a long list of everything you have to do. Even if you’ve already got one, two or more different lists on the go, compile them onto ONE list of items that are really pressing.
Step 2. Write down the deadline for each item and the time you believe it will take you to complete it. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TIME HERE. Whatever you think it will take – add 10%, in order to cover interruptions, etc. If it takes you less time in the end – great. You’ve got some time back. But this list needs to be as realistic as we can make it at this stage.
Step 3. You’re now going to go through each item on the list and apply the 3D’s to each one – Deadline; Delegate; Dump.
Deadline – have a look through and see which items you could extend the deadline to. Although deadlines are important, sometimes we underestimate how long things are going to take to do. Have you set yourself an unrealistically difficult challenge or task to achieve? Have a look at any tasks which you feel you could feasibly change the deadline to and give yourself a little breathing space.
Delegate – have a look through the remaining tasks. Which can you delegate out? Even some simple, small things that you can hand out will make you feel better that you don’t have to think about them any more. Be creative – you may not actually have a team to delegate to. But you may have family members, your partner, your children….could any of them help out with even one thing? Choose the things that don’t need much explaining, but that you can quickly hand over. Making a phone call; finding out some information; collating other information into one place – anything you can delegate, do it. And this may be the time to investigate the use of some external help – VA, tech teams, etc – even for a few hours per month, to relieve some of the pressure on yourself.
Dump – honestly, are there any things on your list which have passed their usefulness date? These might be things you planned to do a while ago and have been on your to do list for ages. Because of that – are they really still relevant? Will the world collapse if you don’t do them? Identify at least one thing on your list which you can simply dump. There may be more and believe me, it’s a fabulous feeling when you can simply take things off your list because they’re no longer relevant.
I guarantee this process will not take any longer than 20 minutes, no matter how many things on your list. Going through this will help you to quickly see what you can to do to regain control of what you have to do. The truth of the matter is – more often than not, we all have more things to do than we have time for, in work, life and business. However, it’s not about what you’ve got to do, it’s about how you feel about it. By following these steps you can feel much, much better about what you really have to do!
Copyright 2010 by Jenny Flintoft, Director of the Association of Work at Home Women.
The Association of Work At Home Women was founded on the principle that every woman should have a place of support, expert information, resources and the chance to grow their home-based business.
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