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5 Game-Changing Tips On Managing Your To-Do List: From To-Do to TA-DA

What’s on your to-do list? Does it seem like your list is never-ending, no matter what day of the week? This is all too common for the small business owner and manager. The daunting list lives somewhere –whether on trusty stickies, a notepad, or a sophisticated task management system. These tasks seem to have a voice, whispering reminders or glaring at us, demanding our attention. Delaying tasks may seem tempting, but as a small business owner or manager, you understand the importance of effective time management and the consequences that procrastination can bring – missed opportunities and deadlines that can impact your business.

Managing the best to-do list for your business is crucial for maintaining productivity and keeping your momentum moving toward success. So how do you manage the demanding nature of running a business and stay on top of ALL the things?

This blog will explore my top five game-changing ways to manage your business to-do list efficiently. You can optimize your productivity and overall happiness by finding a balance between business efficiency and mental health.

The Benefits Of A Well-Functioning To-Do List

A well-functioning to-do list is like a personal superhero, swooping in to save the day and bring order to the chaos of our lives. It can be the persistent light and free us from the stress (some of it!) of running a business.

  • Clearing Mental Clutter – One of the significant benefits of using a to-do list is that it helps clear mental clutter. It can be overwhelming and distracting when you have a lot on your mind, such as tasks, deadlines, and ideas. You externalize your thoughts and free up mental space by jotting down these items on a to-do list. This allows you to focus better, think more clearly, and engage in creative thinking and problem-solving without worrying about forgetting something important.

  • Productivity Boost –A to-do list is a powerful tool for boosting productivity. It helps prevent that procrastination from being overwhelmed from creeping in and taking over. There’s obviously flexibility in everything, but when you know what and when you are supposed to be working on something, there’s no lost time in moving calmly throughout your day. Task achievement provides a sense of accomplishment, and progress fuels motivation, propelling you forward and increasing your productivity.

  • Goal Tracking – A to-do list enables effective tracking of your goals. You can easily monitor your progress by aligning your tasks with specific goals and objectives. Breaking down your goals into actionable steps and including them in your to-do list allows you to stay focused and accountable. Regularly reviewing your list helps you assess your achievements and make necessary adjustments, ensuring you’re on track for that big, purposeful driving your business.

  • Stress Reduction – A well-organized task management system provides stability and confidence amidst the stresses of running a small business. With a clear plan and organized approach, you gain control over your workload, effectively prioritize tasks, and prevent deadlines and details from slipping through the cracks. This reduces overwhelm, anxiety, and allows for a calmer, more focused mindset in approaching your work.

5 Game-Changing Tips on Managing Your List

You’ve come to the right place if you’re motivated to elevate your performance and efficiency for business growth. While you are likely aware of the benefits of successfully managing a to-do list, it’s so easy to unintentionally get stuck in low productivity habits. That’s why I’m here to share my game-changing, hands-down best 5 tips for mastering your never-ending to-do list, allowing you to slay your tasks and enjoy a restful sleep without fretting over unfinished business. These strategies should alleviate those sleepless ceiling stare-offs.

  1. Plan to optimize time, focus, and peace of mind.

Have you ever heard the expression “having a meeting to plan the meeting”? Well, this is similar, without poking fun at excessive meetings (you know if you know!) Set aside dedicated time each month, or whatever frequency best suits your business, to proactively assess your workload and break it down based on the categories below.

I look at everything in the pipeline (and anything that carries over - because it happens!) and break it down into the following.

  • Repetitive vs. Long-term Client Projects

  • Quick (less than an hour) vs. Long

  • Urgent vs. Important (or both!)

  • Me vs. Delegation

Planning serves as an opportunity to ensure your efforts are aligned with the business mission. Additionally, it allows you to gain insights into how you allocate your time and make any needed adjustments. I personally approach my task planning post-workout for enhanced focus and clarity.

Here’s a pro marketing trainer tip: When I refer to “client” in my planning, it encompasses my real clients and my own business. I noticed a significant improvement in my business productivity when I began treating my business as a client.

2. Break Down Tasks and Set Realistic Goals

In the fast-paced world of small business ownership, mastering the art of productivity is critical to success. One powerful approach is to break down those seemingly impossible tasks into bite-sized pieces. You gain a renewed sense of control and efficiency by chunking out those larger projects into smaller, manageable steps.. But it’s not just about breaking tasks down; it’s also about setting realistic goals. The SMART framework comes into play here—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals ensure you have a clear roadmap. By precisely defining your objectives, you bring clarity to your actions and create a higher chance of success and completion. Each task becomes a stepping stone toward that BIG goal, you know the one that got you started down this journey in the first place!

Time Block based on Task Category

To further optimize your productivity, try leveraging the concept of time blocking. Instead of staring at the list for that day, block time on your calendar dedicated to one task or a task category. By implementing time blocking, you harness the power of rhythm and routine, allowing you to enter a flow state and maximize efficiency.


Create Buffers

Small business owners must be adaptable as anything, at any time, could arise that will need your attention and time. While meticulous planning is valuable, it's even wiser to prepare for the unknown by incorporating buffers into our schedules. For instance, if you anticipate a particularly busy month due to the nature of your business or personal commitments, it's crucial to allocate extra time buffers and focus primarily on essential tasks.

3. Delegate Tasks

Eventually, the business will grow, and you will need more time to execute specific tasks. Smart business owners know their strengths and recognize tasks that can be delegated to others. If you struggle to keep up with your list after getting organized, it’s likely time to outsource the work. This is a sign of growth! Acknowledge the progress and keep it moving! This will keep the focus on the higher value tasks steering the business toward that big goal.

Even if you are not fully prepared to delegate tasks, you can begin compiling a mental list of responsibilities that could be automated through technology, assigned to contractors, or handled by employees. This gradual shift towards delegation and automation can positively impact your productivity and overall efficiency.

The key to successful delegation is built around the organization and clear communication. Take that extra 30 minutes to set up the task framework before delegating - it’s 100% worth it!

4. Make a ta-da list

The small business owner journey can be challenging, often accompanied by feelings of exhaustion and isolation. That’s why I want to emphasize the significance of acknowledging your own accomplishments. Don’t wait around for someone to tell you a GOOD JOB – tell yourself over and over again! Focusing on positive achievements can fuel your motivation – watch it flow through your work and client interactions. Each day or even each week, or align it with your planning session, Review everything you achieved for that day vs. what you didn’t. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to realize that your list of achievements is way more extensive than you initially thought. Instead of adopting a negative lens that fixates on unfinished tasks, shift your perspective to celebrate your accomplishments and be 100% PROUD of yourself.

5. Listen to your mind and body

Achieving a well-functioning to-do list goes hand in hand with nurturing your mental well-being through regular self-care practices. If you struggle to finish that last to-do, move it to the next day. Will a single task make or break your entire business?

Absolutely not.

Especially if you plan, prioritize, and create buffers within your schedule.

Your mind and body have a funny way of letting you know when you need a break. Always tune in, listen, and focus on the positive impact of taking a break. Physical exercise is also a powerful tool to reduce stress, enhance focus, and uplift mood. Consider incorporating activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or a simple walk into your routine to promote overall mental well-being.

If you would like to explore your current marketing plan, book a 1:1 session with Your Marketing Trainer.

You got this! I’m here with you every step of the way.


Lindsay, Your Head Marketing Trainer

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