We are all too familiar with never ending, 3 mile long To Do Lists! And no matter how much time we spend working like a maniacs, chipping away at that list, another one grows stronger and longer. Ever feel like you are breathing through a straw in a sea of TO DOs?

Well, relief is here my friends! It’s called STOP!

Here are 4 simple things you can do to lighten your load and gain more efficiency & momentum.
1) STOP!
Book a week, a weekend, a night, heck! go all out and have an 8 hour night sleep! I know, I can hear you already…”what? I don’t have time to stop, she must be on crack!”.  Well, let me burst your bubble by saying “STOPPING is the ONLY way to THRIVE! It takes OFF time for the brain to actually calm down enough, recharge and gain perspective and with perspective comes relief and efficiency. I learned that one the hard way!

2) Clarify & Prioritize your TO DOs.
Review and clarify your TO DOs. Being clear on the task at hand and expectations around that task is a MUST. The clearer you are, the easier it’s going to be to get that task done.

Here is a helpful tool that we adopted from Stephen Covey.
Prioritize you TO DOs in 4 key categories.

– Urgent & Important: Your daily important tasks, client work, etc…
– Urgent & Not Important: Those are perfect delegation opportunities.
– Important & Not Urgent: This section is usually anything strategic or high level thinking.
– Not Important & Not Urgent: I say, deuh!, what the “bleep” is it doing on your list”? and if it’s a fun thing that you never get to do…please re-categorize under “Urgent & Important”!

3) Create a “STOP DOING” LIST.
Sometimes, a STOP doing list is more important than a TO DO list. Make a list of all the things you do that actually slows you down instead of propelling you forward…like the pile of articles and magazines that have been sitting there that you will never read! Read it NOW or CHUCK it I say! This pile is holding back!

4) “Bite Size” your TO DOs.
What drags us down is TO DOs like these ones:

Create Website, Organize House, Hire/Fire Employees…the list goes on. I call those “Boat Anchors”. They are so big, it’s no wonder they get pushed back every week. They are not TO DOs, they are GOALS.

Here is a more effective way to get things off your plate. Let’s take “create website” for example.
Create and launch Website by: February 28, 2008
Establish “Bite Size” Actions:
WHAT: Clarify what I want + Need   WHO: Me  BY WHEN: November 8
WHAT: Book meeting w/Web Designer   WHO: Me   BY WHEN: November 9
WHAT: Find a writer   WHO: John   BY WHEN: November 14
WHAT: Establish project major milestones.    WHO: Me    BY WHEN: November 18
You get the picture!

This process allows you to establish a series of actions that you can actually CROSS OFF your plate as you go along. This will increase your efficiency and momentum by leaps & bounds. It’s much more rewarding to continually achieve many small things daily than to fear and procrastinate on 1 important big thing.

Here is a 7 Day Action List tool that we use on a daily basis to help our clients gain and sustain momentum.  But, most of all, remember that LIFE is happening NOW! and saying “I will breathe or have more fun when “____” is out of my hair…is like saying NOW is NOT IMPORTANT…when NOW is all you got!