Tuesday, January 31, 2017

5 Tips for Conquering Your To-Do List

Shirt and Vest (a gift from my sweet mother-in-law - she must know me well ;) - J. Crew Factory / Jeans - J. Crew / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - BaubleBar

Do you ever feel like your to-do list is a mile long, and there's no way you could ever get to the end of it? I'm trying to play catch-up from being out of town last week (and honestly, because I wasn't budgeting my time well before I left), and I feel like I've been running and running non-stop with no end in sight. Of course, it doesn't help that I scheduled a couple of dinners for restaurant week and my company is having a big end-of-year party tonight (yes, we recognize that it's January, but it's our end-of-year). I'm not sure how to squeeze it all in, but there are a couple of steps I take when I have a lot on my plate to keep me from feeling overwhelmed/like my head is about to explode: 

1. Take a deep breath. 
Usually when I have a lot on my plate, my mind starts spinning, and the anxiety starts rolling in. It turns into a dangerous spiral, to the point where I'll start thinking there's no possible way I could get anything done. Instead of letting the anxiety take over, take a step back and take a breath. The time it takes to take a breath helps you to clear your head and put things in perspective. Yes, you may have a ton of work to do, but you've done it before and you will do it again.

2. Write it all down. 
For me, there always seems to be so much more to do until I write it all down. Somehow, seeing my to-do list on paper usually makes it look smaller and more manageable. Writing your list down also lets you prioritize, as well as feel accomplished as you check things off of your list. I'm really motivated by crossing things off, so for me just having the list is a good reason to power through. 

3. Conquer something small. 
Because I'm so motivated my crossing things off of my to-do list, I usually start by finding something small that I can quickly accomplish. That way, I get to check something off right away, making me feel like I've done something and leaving me excited to get to that next check mark. Anything to make that list a little shorter! 

4. Stop Multi-tasking.
Okay, okay, okay. I love multi-tasking. I typically find myself constantly flipping back and forth between working, checking email, looking at my phone, picking music, etc. throughout the day, and whenever I'm at home the tv is on in the background. All of the technology in our lives has made our attention spans really short, making multi-tasking the norm. That being said, whenever I stop multi-tasking I notice how much easier and faster it is to get stuff done. If you have a lot on your list, close out of your email tab, turn off the tv, put your phone away, and focus only on the task at hand. You'd be amazed how faster you'll work! 

5. Realize the sky isn't falling. 
Anxiety is often my biggest issue when I'm trying to get a lot done, so sometimes I'll just have to remind myself that if I don't get everything done in the time I allotted myself, the world isn't going to end. Sure, a deadline is a deadline, but I'm not a rocket scientist or anything. If it takes me a day longer than I said it would to turn a project around, nothing terrible is going to happen. There are no lives at stake. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but realizing that you don't have to check off every box on that list always helps! If you can drop something, drop it. If you can push something back, push something back. Just know that the sky isn't falling and that there are less busy days ahead! 

So tell me - how do you deal when there's a ton on your plate? Any tips to help me get through the week??  

Shirt and Vest (a gift from my sweet mother-in-law - she must know me well ;) - J. Crew Factory / Jeans - J. Crew / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - BaubleBar

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