As a business owner there are so many tasks you need to complete. It’s therefore understandable, that you’ll need a to-do list. But often, that list ends up getting long, messy and unmanageable, fast! So if you’re looking to tame your to-do list, here are a few tips that will help.

Have more than one to-do list

The mistake many business owners make is keeping just one list. It’s meant to be a list for today, but ends up being an ongoing list of everything you can think of! So have several lists – one for today, another this week, and a separate list for each project, as well as those long term goals.

Write it down

Typing up a list doesn’t always feel the same as physically writing it down. Writing out your list helps get it all out of your head and helps ensure you don’t forget anything. And of course, it also gives you the satisfaction of actually crossing things off as you complete them.

Tame your to-do list by keeping it short

The quickest way to feel overwhelmed by your to-do list is to make it a long one. Having more than one list will help, but you also need to keep each list relatively short. Your to-do list for each day should really only consist of 3-5 things maximum, if you want to keep it manageable and doable.

Stick with tasks for just today or this week

And that’s why you need to decide whether you want a daily to-do list or a weekly one. It helps you decide how many tasks are achievable in the time you have available. If you work full time, opt for a daily to-do list, whereas if you only work a part time, you will probably prefer to have a weekly list.

Have a separate general list

As mentioned earlier, it helps to have more than one list. But on top of the ones already suggested, it’s also worth having a general list too. This list is for everything else you remember you want to do, now or in the future. This list can be as long as you want, because you use it to help plan out your other lists – and can use it when you have spare time and need something to do!

Adding in time estimates will help you tame your to-do list and your time

When you’re adding tasks to your list, look to also add in time estimates. This will help you allocate tasks out, as you will know roughly how much time you need to set aside.

Don’t use your to-do list as a makeshift planner

Talking of lists, make sure you’re not using your to-do list as a makeshift planner. That’s what your calendar is for. Instead, write out your to-do list and then use your planner to schedule in blocks of time to complete the tasks on your list.

Schedule a power hour or coworking call

If you want to tame your to-do list and get more done, why not schedule yourself in for a coworking call with a colleague or a power hour for yourself? To clarify, a power hour here refers to you setting aside an hour of undisturbed time, so you can focus on your list and blitz as many tasks as you can in the allotted time.

Tame your to-do list by leaving routine tasks off it

Routine tasks are good for quick wins, but it’s best not to add them to your to-do list. They just end up making your to-do list look long and overwhelming.

Celebrate your achievements

Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to appreciate what you have done. It’s too easy to get stuck focusing on what you might not have accomplished during your working day. But if you want to tame your to-do list, you need to keep yourself motivated, so take time at the end of each day to celebrate those things you did achieve.

Here at Virtual Hand, we love a good to-do list! They enable you to see exactly where your time is being spent and how many tasks you can outsource to others. And, as we are a team of action-takers, supporting business owners to grow their business and do the things they love, we’d love to take those tasks off your hands and help you tame your to-do list. The starting point might be my Getting Organised Programme. Helping you to focus on what you love.