We have to be productive to succeed in freelancing. Time is our most valuable resource, and if we can do more things in a given amount of time, we can achieve our goals faster. One way to do that is by creating an effective to-do list. Here is how to create one.
Limit to 10 Tasks a Day
Yes, you might have used a checklist of some sort. But how often did you finish all of it? Was it helpful, or was it just a list of to-dos that you can’t seem to finish at all.
Check your to-do list. Dozens of tasks might populate it. We are all busy! But if you are paralyzed with the mountain of tasks you listed. You will be busy forever.
Limit your to-do list to 10 a day so that you won’t be overwhelmed. Aim to clear them by the end of the day. If after, you still have time to do more. That’s when you tick-off other tasks.
Pareto Principle: Prioritize the Most Important Task
Next is knowing what tasks to prioritize. With this, the Pareto principle comes in handy. It states that 20% of your tasks are attributable to 80% of your results. So in all your tasks, check the top 2-3 tasks you need to do to create 80% of the results.
Even if for some reason or emergency and you can’t finish all your tasks today, you can still get results when you finish the top three critical tasks.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Often, we have tasks that are alike. These can be tasks to send emails, call leads, reply to messages. Why not cluster them together to save you time?
Our brain has a lag time when we switch tasks. If we do similar tasks in the same timeframe, we can avoid this. So if you have emails to be sent to your suppliers, clients, and sponsors, do them in the same hour.
Breakdown Large Tasks
Some tasks take too much effort to do. Sometimes, knowing this can overwhelm us from doing it. It’s time to break down large tasks into smaller pieces. After all, how do you eat an elephant? It’s one bite at a time.
If you need to write an ebook, you can make subtasks like “research ideas” or “organize the chapter titles.” With this, you know that you are progressing — one step at a time.
Set Realistic Deadlines
The last thing is to put realistic deadlines. If we just do our tasks without targeting a completion date, we might become complacent and never finish anything at all.
Be mindful, though. Some people set impossible deadlines and are left disappointed. Deadlines like “I will earn 1,000,000 this year” with no experience in freelancing. I’m not saying you can’t do it. I’m just saying you need to gauge the possibilities and your skills. And adjust the timeline accordingly.
Now, you can start writing your to-do lists. You can use your trusty pen and paper or download some reliable apps like:
- Google Task
- Microsoft To-Do
With that, I hope you can create the perfect checklist that can bring you to 100% productivity! Good luck!