Ever feel as if, in the quest to get everything done, you’re not quite doing enough?
For example, you’ve heard on various occasions (including once or twice from us) how important it is to keep in touch with former colleagues, whether you have strong ties or weak ones. But corresponding with old colleagues takes time — time that could be spent doing your actual job or bonding with new coworkers.
In an article on LinkedIn, J.T. O’Donnell (@jtodonnell), CEO of Careerealism Media, offers a refreshing approach to the “how do I get it all done” problem. Her solution: Limit your daily to-do list to 10 things, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get them all done.
O’Donnell’s list comprises a balance of job tasks, social chores, and developmental goals:
1. Read something related to my industry.
2. Read something related to business development.
3. Send two emails to touch base with old colleagues.
4. Empty my private client inbox by responding to all career coaching questions within one business day.
5. Check in with each team member on their progress.
6. Have a short nonwork-related conversation with every employee.
7. Review my top three goals for my company that are focused on its growth.
8. Identify and execute one task to support each of my top three goals.
9. Post five valuable pieces of content on all of my major social media accounts.
10. Take a full minute to appreciate what I have and how far I’ve come.
“Yes, there are days when I don’t get them all done,” she admits, “but I do my best to deliver. . . . This list could be longer. But if it was longer, I wouldn’t be as good at getting them all done.”
Of course, O’Donnell adds, she does more every day than these 10 tasks, but over time “they’ve proven the best way for me to grow my career and my business. The collective results have made completing these tasks consistently, even when I don’t feel like it, well worth it.”
O’Donnell’s daily to-do list can help you create your own. One important rule of thumb: No task on your list should take more than a few hours to complete. For more on how to put together a daily to-do list that’s actually doable, we recommend Cody Wheeler’s article on Lifehack.org, “Are You Making This Major Daily To-Do List Mistake?”