Real life never did quite work out in the way I’d envisioned. It’s not that I didn’t get an excellent job – I got that. It’s not that I haven’t got as far as I would’ve liked – I haven’t done too bad there either. What I do have that I never thought much about before, is to do lists coming out of my earholes.

 Long to do list

Sitting down with a mountain of work resembling The Alps is never a good feeling, but there are some tips and tricks you can embrace to make it feel a bit less shit. It may feel like I’m teaching you to suck eggs but actually – take it from a lady who knows – it sometimes takes some spoon-feeding to shake that sense of dread and provoke some action. Allow me to be the provider…

List at length

Make a to do list, and don’t panic about making it ginormous. In fact, the bigger the better. There’s method in this madness, don’t worry…

Add every tiny task you have to do that day (even menial ones that take seconds, such as “grab morning tea”) and allow them to fill up a whole A4 page if that’s what it takes. The more you cross off of the list, the more motivated you’ll be to get that whole page blacked out by the end of the day. Also don’t worry that it’s taking precious time to write the list – I promise it is time well spent.

Break it down

Break big tasks down into steps, and add each step separately to your to do list. This equals more ticking things off, and more ticking things off equals happiness.

Prioritise

Number your tasks according to how quickly they need to be done. Pop a number next to each point in the margin, with 1 being the task that is most urgent. Work through them in that order so that the most timely task is done and dusted in plenty of time for deadlines.

Prepare for the following day

Sadly, it’s not going to be enough to be super organised just for one day, so you need to keep the momentum going. Before you finish work and make your way home, take ten minutes to wind down and get the list of tasks set for tomorrow. Carry over leftover tasks from the current day so they’re at the top, then jot down the rest with those cheeky numbers in the margin.

 

It’s so surprising how much writing everything down and watching yourself complete tasks and achieve objectives can really get you flying through a workload. Do you have any tips for productivity?

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