Manual Getting Things Done: How to Complete the Tasks in Front of You Quickly

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You can be much more productive in your day-to-day projects when you have an annual strategic plan in place that you can plug your daily tasks into. Start by revisiting your business plan.

Details, Details, Details

Seriously, when was the last time you looked at it? Set objectives for one year out, and establish three-year goals for your business. Now you have a bigger context that your calendar fits into. This way, you can see every day on your calendar fitting into your long-range goals. Set measurable goals that will serve as milestones along the route to your annual objectives. With the big picture in place, you can tackle your daily task list with confidence. Be honest: When do you want to start and when do you want to stop each day of the week? As a business owner, you have to be the enforcer of your own hours, so declare your working hours and stop-working hours!

Then, write down any predetermined personal and business commitments. Need to pick the kids up at three? Mark it down. Meet up with friends for coffee on Tuesdays for an hour? Add it in.

Getting Things Done for IT Professionals | TDK Technologies

Attend a networking event each Friday morning? Write it down. Now you have a rough sketch of your weekly availability. I generally suggest that my clients chunk their tasks. Client appointments should be held in one chunk on set days. Writing and creative tasks should be grouped in another chunk. Administrative tasks in another chunk. This is why chunking can be so helpful.

Mark down the days and times you want to do the tasks that need to get done each week or month in your business. In reading this, you might find yourself overly resistant to this kind of scheduling. How awesome is that? From there, after practicing the schedule, they can massage it as needed. And, if you want to get more done and work more reasonable work hours, I strongly suggest you try it. One of my favorite things to help entrepreneurs do is set up systems.

This includes everything from the steps you take to brainstorm, write, edit, post, and publish your blog to the specifics of how you manage your financial records to how you process new clients. The other option, which I see far too often, is that business owners reinvent the steps every time they do that task; this is a huge time-waster!

The photographer’s ultimate guide to getting things done

This means you know ahead of time exactly what steps 1, 2, 3, … 27 are. You know what steps you do, what steps your assistant does, and what steps anyone else on your team is responsible for. This will save you a ton of time and money each month. However, to have your business run like clockwork with systems, you have to take the time to step them up and document them. You now know the three most effective and most overlooked areas of productivity and exactly how to implement them in your business.

Start your year, quarter, or month off right and make the time to shift your project planning, your calendar management , and your systems so they support your business and your productivity , not burn you out. It will pay dividends in the long run. Jenny Shih is a coach and consultant for small business owners.

5 Easy Ways To Get Things Done with Task Tracking Software

Her clients are idea factories with growing businesses that need help planning, strategizing, streamlining and systematizing. She helps new entrepreneurs launch their business, learn the basics of marketing, and start making money. She helps experienced entrepreneurs streamline and systematize their work so they can get out of the daily grind and spend more time doing what they love. As a thank you for subscribing, we'll send you a copy of our Small Business Marketing Trends Report with insights from over 1, surveyed business owners.

Simple Task Creation

Be sure to be as specific and laser-focused as possible, using present tense and deadline dates. Remember, "Vague goals produce vague results. To put first things first , start by identifying all your roles for the upcoming week. You have roles as an individual, a spouse, a parent, manager, developer, etc. With your roles defined and your long-term goals in mind, think of one or two important results you feel you should accomplish in each role during the next seven days. These are your goals for the week.

For example one of my goals for this week in my Bounteous Resource role was to finish this blog post today.


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Which is a more specific goal based on one of my personal missions to "Be helpful and productive, a resource in more than just coding. More often than not, the bigger items on our to-do lists require a good deal of focus. Here are some tips to help get yourself into that state of focus. Listen to your body. Strive to fit the focus tasks into these times and save the rest for more shallow concerns.

Understand that focus is painful at first. Control focus-busting impulses.

Identify bad habits by reflecting on parts of your day you feel guilty about. Identify the cue that triggers it, the activity, and the reward. If possible, try to find something that you can do that will carry a similar reward or even the same type of reward. So my cue was starting a code build, the activity was opening Twitter, and the reward was the temporary reprieve of watching the build progress. When you lose momentum, try a change of context. Like pausing on writing code to go take care of some code reviews. Get up and stretch your legs, go for a walk, and just get away from the screen for a bit.

Set a very small goal and a time limit to complete, sometimes that setting and completing a to-do quickly can build your momentum back up. If nothing seems to be working, honestly assess your current situation and state of mind.

Master the Art of the To-Do List

Are you preoccupied with something else going on? Did you not get enough rest?


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Are you feeling overworked? This honest assessment can help you identify an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with. I honestly still struggle with this.

Avoid Burnout. Most commonly you're hitting a wall, starting out with high interest that quickly wanes.