How to Break Down Your Tasks to a Few Per Day
When your brain is on work overload, you can break down your tasks day by day.
Rylan, Assistant Estimator for a general contractor in Battle Ground, WA, told Session 9B of Turbo's Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"Last week I was sitting at my computer looking at the week ahead. It was Friday and I was really thinking that I was going to have to work Saturday. There were so many things I had to do and a long list of the things I needed to do. All the tasks on my exhaustive list were bouncing around, rattling around in my head. I was overwhelmed, it was definitely giving me a headache.
"I stopped, took a deep breath and started breaking out my tasks by the day, slowly emptying my mind of all the clutter. When I had gotten my list organized into daily chunks, I began to see that this won't actually be too hard after all; I can do this!
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I take all of the things that are swirling around in my brain out of my head and list on a pad of paper all that I need to get done, reduce them to writing, I can think more clearly and work more productively.
"The action I call you to take is to apply time management skills and break down the tasks you need to complete to bite-size pieces in writing and group related tasks together.
"The benefit you will gain is a clearer picture of what, when, where and how you can accomplish what needs to be done by you. You will have a more productive mind and you will be able to hammer out your work with time to spare."
What a great promise Rylan has given us, we will get all of our work done with time to spare - I urge you to begin with the end in mind. What is the end state that you desire to achieve? Why is this important? How can you combine, eliminate, delegate? Combine related tasks. Eliminate what you can simply leave undone. Skip or stop doing things you are doing out of habit, old routines that are not adding value. Delegate what you can ask someone else to do or think of who can help. What are the short cuts you can take? How can you better harness technology to get your job done? Ask these questions and more, then go into action with a well-defined plan and peace of mind. Make periodic analysis of your process, with an eye toward improvement as an ongoing part of your work.
Fall Leadership Development Labs are forming now in Eugene, Wilsonville, Salem and Vancouver.