What you plan to accomplish on any given workday and what you actually end up getting done are often two very different things.
Just 11 percent of professionals worldwide complete everything they wanted to do by the end of the average workday, according to the results of a recent LinkedIn survey.
Tips for tackling your to-do list:
Be realistic: Are you failing to complete your to-do list because you’re loading it with too many tasks? Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day and draft your list accordingly. Cut up large projects into multiple tasks to make them less daunting. If your workload is just too heavy, it might be time to talk to your boss about his expectations.
Get a productive start: Don’t treat a Wednesday morning in the office like it’s a Sunday morning at home. Avoid ambling into work and spending your first half hour sipping coffee, chatting with coworkers and scanning the news online.
Set a productive pace by getting started on tasks right away when you begin your workday. Complete a few easy things within the first hour or so of getting to work and it will be easier to plow into the bigger projects as the day progresses.
Have a plan: If you want to get started right away, you need to know what to get started on. Spend the last few minutes of each day planning out what the next day will look like so you’ll be able to dive right in.
CareerBliss’ very own Ritika Trikha has some more great tips on working smarter, not harder. Stop multi-tasking, for instance, and prioritize tasks.
And LinkedIn’s Nicole Williams offers some tips of her own for getting through your daily to-do list (71 percent of women and 60 percent of men told LinkedIn they frequently using a to-do list, by the way).
- Track non-productive time at work (yes … that includes Pinterest) to get an idea of where you’re wasting time.
- Have a list routine of tasks that need to get done daily to keep yourself on track (26 percent of those surveyed said they were easily distracted).
- Finally complete those tasks, which Williams calls “the dregs,” you keep putting off (see Williams’ full blog post here).