Friday, 21 October 2016

A Simple Fix To Getting Everything Done On Your To-Do List

I've recently read Greg McKeown's best selling book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

And it's not the first time I've read it, but I felt like refreshing my memory.

One of the things the author talks about in the book is about making sure that your to-do list isn't overwhelming.

This is something I suffer from greatly. It doesn't matter if it's a personal to-do list or my writing to-do list, I always manage to cram too much into it or vastly underestimate how much time each task will take me.

But Greg McKeown has a simple fix. So simple in fact, that I slapped my forehead and thought "Why didn't I think of that?"

His simple fix for making sure you get everything done on your to-do list is what he calls a buffer.

He also calls it "the unfair advantage."

Your to-do list (whether it's a daily, weekly or monthly list) should be prepared with planned tasks and activities. This means knowing exactly what steps you need to take to get a job done.

As an example, if you were writing a book, you wouldn't just put "write a chapter each week." Instead you'd list writing out your idea, expanding it into an outline, preparing your character profiles, expanding your character profiles, and so forth.

This means listing each and every task that you need to do to get the project done.

And then you need to create a time buffer to prepare for anything unforeseen that might come up or in case it takes you longer than you think to complete your tasks.

And the buffer he suggests is 50% more time than you think it will take.

So if you list all your tasks you need to do, write how much time each will take, add them up and then add 50% more.

Now I know that 50% sounds huge but, if you're like me, it will be a more realistic time frame, and, if you don't need that much time then you'll have time to do other things or get a jump start on your next writing project.

 So now you can go ahead and write out your next to-do list and add 50% extra time to get it done and then actually do it in time.

And being able to tick off everything in a to-do list, is a great feeling.

And it will help to keep you motivated too.