The best way to get more done is to focus on 2 to 3 core tasks per day AND get them done (that’s the trick)! But from time to time, we need to break the stay out of task overwhelm rule and tackle what can only be called a MEGA to-do list.
The examples of this situation are endless – a last-minute lucrative project that gets you in the door with your dream client, a complete overhaul of your internal systems and processes before the next busy season or even something as simple as a move to a new city that requires shutting down the office temporarily.
The common thread is a short deadline and a humongous workload. In a perfect world, you would find a way to negotiate more reasonable deadlines and work the tasks into your normal work routine. But this isn’t a perfect world and sometimes you just have to pull up your socks and get it done!
So how do you tackle double the work in half the time?
How to Tackle a MEGA To-Do List
#1: Short-Term Only – The first important rule to note that this strategy is strictly a short-term one. Constantly pushing yourself into task overwhelm is a surefire way to burn yourself out. Whenever possible, seek other options, but if it comes down to the crunch, only plan on using this strategy for a quick boost in your productivity.
#2: Clear Your Calendar – Time to put your goal of being the perfect wife, mother and homemaker on hold! The only way to take on a mega task list is to let go of other priorities and clear up your calendar. Take a hard look at your weekly duties and find ways to hand them off or put them on hold until crunch time is over (and yes, that may mean ordering in pizza more than you would like).
#3: Disappear from Distractions – Step away from social media and any other distractions that pull you into the time vortex because time is what you need more of. Remember, this is for the short-term only so it’s okay to put those social relationships on hold, online or offline.
#4: Map Out a Plan – Start by taking inventory of what you have to get done, how much time you have available (including the time you are going to free up by following steps #2 and #3 above) and figure out how you are going to get there day-by-day. Leave a couple of days at the end as the ‘catch-all’ for things that pop-up as the project progresses.
#5: Stick to Your Pace Goals – Whatever you do, do NOT fall behind your schedule. If you plan on getting certain tasks done each day or week, don’t push them forward to the next day thinking you will have the energy to pull an ‘all-nighter’ like you did in college. Instead work a little later throughout the project to stay on track.
#6: Don’t Neglect Yourself – Remember to give yourself downtime throughout the process. It likely won’t be as much as you would like (or even need), but you will need it in order to perform at your best!
#7: Get Motivated FAST – Get in the habit of getting up and getting motivated fast every day. This is where using those daily milestones really helps! Remind yourself that your strategy does not include any slack days. Save those for when this is all over, but for now, do what you have to do to get pumped up!