Struggling to decide what to do when you sit down to work?
Ever sit down to work on your carefully curated list of tasks to-do that someone, somewhere said you “need” to do and feel completely overwhelmed by it all? Then today’s episode is for you! Let’s decide what to do for you when you work.
The topic of deciding what to do because it comes up over and over in my community. Figuring out what to do and then doing those things can really zap your energy as an entrepreneur. Add to that the duties you have as a mom and around your home and it’s no wonder this feels so daunting. But it doesn’t have to. And today I am going to share a few simple questions that will help you narrow that list down to your priority tasks when you are feeling confused, indecisive, or overwhelmed.
Ugh….What Do I Do???
Staring at a to-do list of 10, 20, 30, or more tasks can feel completely overwhelming…even to the most productive go-getter. And whenever you have a large quantity of anything…whether it’s tasks on your to-do list or clothes in your closet…making a decision becomes even harder. Today we are solving the problem of knowing what to focus on NOW from your to-do list in order to get the right things done, work efficiently, and save time and energy.
The mompreneurs who make a regular practice of evaluating the tasks and carving out time for the ones that are urgent and important often feel less stress. They can do more in less time because the tasks they focus on make a difference. And many of those tasks we thought we needed to do don’t need completed. All it takes is a little evaluation and prioritization.
Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list or confused about what to do? It’s often because you pick what to do willy nilly, rather than focusing time and energy on tasks that truly make an impact. Many times you choose a task because you like to do it or because it is easy. But I’m here to tell you…those are often not the tasks that will move the needle in helping you grow your community, work more efficiently, see more results or, most importantly, make more money. As busy mompreneurs pulled in 127 different directions, you have to stop wasting time on low-value tasks.
But what are those low-value tasks? How do you even know what is a waste and what is productive? You have so many voices in your ear, mine included, telling you what you should and should not do. The fact is, only you know your priorities based on your goals and your values. But the more you practice prioritizing what’s on your list based on those goals and values, the easier it becomes to see exactly what you need to do when you sit down to work. Or what to do with your free time. When you manage to carve out that 3 minutes and 48 seconds.
How You Benefit When You Decide What to Do
When you use the simple questions I’m sharing today to prioritize your to-do list, you focus on tasks that matter. You reduce feelings of overwhelm and stress because you can focus time and energy on only the tasks produce results. And you often reduce your workload because you can give up the tasks that don’t truly align with your goals or your values.
On a daily basis, you will feel confident that what you are doing will benefit of your business, your self, or your family because those tasks are directly aligned with your goals or your values.
And you aren’t the only person who benefits from a less stressed, less overwhelmed business owning mom. Your family will see more of you because you can accomplish more in less time. And you can show up less distracted or stressed at mealtimes or sporting events because you know the work you’ve done (and left behind) made an impact.
Steps to Decide What to Do When You Work
So how can you arrive at this glorious place where can decide what to do, your tasks align, your to-do list shrinks, and you can walk away from work at the end of the day feeling accomplished? It’s easier than you might think.
First, let’s take a second to review the difference between your urgent and important tasks. I did a deep dive on this topic in episode 38 titled “The Difference between Urgent and Important. And Why It Matters” back in November of 2020. But in a nutshell…your urgent tasks require immediate action. Your important tasks aid in reaching your long term goals. And your daily to-do list will contain a combination of both urgent and important tasks.
Which leads us to my four, simple TRIM Your To-Do list questions. I developed these questions based on prioritizing what is urgent and important to my clients. Not what this guru said you have to do in some workshop or what that IG post said you need to do in order to (fill in the blank). These questions help you decide what to do based on the goals you’ve set for your business and personal life. Along with the values you hold for yourself and your family.
- Is the task time sensitive? As in does it have a due date. And, importantly, is that due date approaching. If the answer is yes, the task is a priority and you should complete it asap. If the due date is in the future, schedule time to complete the task closer to the due date. These time sensitive tasks fall under the urgent category when it comes to prioritizing your to-do list.
- Is the task required to move on to the next step? This would be a task like sending a questionnaire to a new potential client so you can schedule a sales call. Uploading new pictures to your website for your online shop so you can add those new seasonal products. Creating an opt-in so you can start collecting email addresses. If completing this task means you move on to a new, necessary phase of tasks directly related to your goals and your success, then those tasks are priorities and must be done.
- Does the task make an impact positively or negatively? This category of tasks includes but is not limited to: scheduling a doctor’s appointment, going to your child’s choir concert, working out, self-care, showing up on social media if that is where you market your business, family dinner, scheduling client calls, taking an online course, and so on. Many of the tasks that make an impact will fall into the important category. They contribute to your long term goals and align with your values. And they are often overlooked or afterthoughts. Or we just try to squeeze them in rather than treating them as a priority. That is also why we often feel extra stress or overwhelm because we aren’t making time for these important tasks that make an impact.
- Will the task make me money or cost me money? Remember…you are in business. Businesses make money. Otherwise it is a hobby. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve talked with mompreneurs who will spin their wheels for hours planning marketing content or writing blog posts and ignore the tasks on their to-do list that can actually result in sales. Making money is a priority as a business. And your task list should reflect that. Likewise, if you avoid tasks like invoicing clients or paying bills, that avoidance is costing you money.
Your action step to decide what to do when you work is to prioritize your to-do list. Ask yourself these questions about the tasks on your list…Is this time-sensitive? Is it required for me to move to the next step? Will it make an impact positively or negatively? Will it make me money or cost me money? If the answer is “yes” to one or more of those questions, it is a priority and needs your precious time and focus first. Time Sensitive. Required. Impact-Driven. Or Money Related. That’s the TRIM in TRIM your To-Do List.
Need additional support in creating your best mompreneur life? Want to create a solid and simple plan to get your work done and have fun? Let’s jump on a free, no-obligation 15-minute call to see how I can help you feel more fun & fulfilled in your work and home life.