Our days are filled with things to do and places to be. To-Do lists, reminders, online calendars, planners and Post-its constantly inform us of what needs to be done. We are in competition with our daily clocks to see who is going to run out of juice first. If you do it right and follow through, planning can help you feel less stressed and more accomplished on daily basis. Although everyone faces different challenges, the principles for creating a successful schedule are pretty much the same. We have many resources on our YouTube channel and our blog on how to be more productive and become a pro task manager. In this article, we are going to talk about 5 traps you need to avoid when you are scheduling tasks on your To-Do list.
Lack of Destination
There is no way you can have a perfect road map if you don’t know the destination. A clear vision of what you want to accomplish is the key to creating the perfect schedule. This tip applies to everything in life. You cannot have focused and productive actions if you don’t know what you want to achieve. If you just start walking aimlessly, you will get somewhere but is that “somewhere” a place you actually want to be? Set your goals, get a clear image of where you are going and put the steps in your calendar.
Wouldn’t it be magical if we could travel at the speed of light? Just imagine how much more we would get done! Unfortunately, we are limited to 24 hours in a day with no superhero powers for leeway. Plan our days trying to accomplish as much as you can but remember that unrealistic expectations of what you can get done can have poor consequences. If you are unrealistic about how much time it takes to complete tasks, you will create an overwhelming calendar cluttered with unfinished tasks. Avoid this trap and you will be more equipped to maintain your motivation and stick with your plan.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
If you have a big piece of cake, no matter how excited you are about devouring its deliciousness, you cannot eat it all in one bite. The same goes for your tasks. No matter how much excitement or dread you have for a project, you need to break it into manageable tasks in order to finish the whole thing. Know how long a project or task will take and then add on a little extra time. Let’s say it takes you 12 hours to finish a project, break it down into smaller tasks of 2 hours or less and block the time off on your calendar for a stronger chance at success.
Prioritizing VIP Tasks
Some tasks have deadlines and other tasks can be finished at any time but that doesn’t mean you should only schedule and prioritize the tasks with a deadline attached to them. All of things you have to do are important and whether they are tasks you favor or tasks you dread, you should do everything you can to get them all done. If you plan effectively, you can reach deadlines while completing other tasks. For example, first schedule the projects that have deadlines and then schedule other smaller tasks in between. Don’t forget to schedule rest, fun and free time. Yes, you heard it right. Scheduling fun is vital too! Keep in mind, if you are using an online app for your planning, only set up reminders for the most urgent tasks. Nothing is more annoying than being inundated with pesky reminders.
Sticking to the Plan Too Much
We know this one is a shocker! Every productivity coach will tell you to stick to your plan. But sometimes plans change. Our goals and ambitions grow and evolve. Once we get started, it’s easier to spot flaws in our plans. Don’t be afraid to break the mold, sit down and revisit your schedule. Get rid of the tasks that have no value anymore, give yourself more breaks and schedule more tasks in advance. You know yourself and what needs to change in order for you to be successful. Don’t be afraid to apply changes, no matter how big or small.
The path to success can sometimes can be a minefield of setbacks and frustrations but with task management you can skip some of these traps and march all the way to your wildest dreams.