Ever had one of those days when you just don’t achieve anything? The phone rings, a client needs you or for one reason or another nothing is completed! Of course, there are days when you need to jump onto something urgent BUT your to do list could be the one thing holding you back.


I can’t survive without a list, mainly because I'm not as young as I was and just don’t seem able to retain the same amount of information! What I have learnt is a to do list can be my own worst enemy and reduces my productivity.


Why is a to do list a time drain?

1. There is too much on it! It is very easy to keep adding tasks with little thought to whether they will actual have a positive impact on your business.

2. The task is just too big. Most likely there are a number of parts or elements, which if broken down would be manageable (just saying!).

3. You are using it to avoid the one thing you should be doing. Great to tick off lots of little tasks but are you doing this to ignore activity that you don’t like doing or don’t want to do?



As I have said I can’t function without a list but it’s important that I have a system to manage my business and this is very different from an ever-growing list. It’s how I ensure activity has a positive impact on my business and that I differentiate between activity that needs to be achieved for the business e.g. client based and tasks associated with running my business.


Top tips for improved productivity

1. Break down your task into daily, weekly and monthly. These will most likely be related to running your business e.g. marketing and finance. You will need time set aside to achieve them and are less likely to appear on a list!

2. Consider how long a task will take and use a timer. This will help you understand not only how long you will need to allocate to activity in the future but also if you are the right person for the job.

3. Create a wish list for new projects and activity you would like to achieve in the business. Consider this list on a weekly or monthly basis (to suit you) and add to your to do list or incorporate into your business systems. Remember just because your competitor is doing it doesn’t make it right for your business.

4. Start to think of your list as the things you need to do today and your systems the way in which you manage your business.

5. Less is more, a long to do list is not an affirmation of your value or worth. Keep it simple, consider the night before the three things you must achieve the following day and don’t start another thing until they are complete!

6. Be careful you are not adding a remainder, something you just don’t want to forget e.g. email or call A.N. Other. This is something I am guilty of and working hard to stop wasting the time adding to a list and instead just doing!

Spend time thinking about how you work, how a list can be used most effectively and in a way that drives forward your business as opposed to holding it back. Start to recognise your behaviours where you are using the list to avoid tasks and to prevent overwhelm with a list as long as your arm! Remember being busy doesn’t necessarily equal success!


Finally ... why not:

1. Start a list of jobs that you could outsource and give thought to how this might increase time for you to work in the areas of the business that can only be done by you.

2. Keep a note of regular tasks you carry out, could these be automated, is there a more efficient way of working or can these be integrated.

3. Struggling with something – ask for help, a recommendation or guidance!

It takes time to develop the right systems in your business, seeking out the right software and apps to assist with productivity and to ensure most efficient use of time. Don’t let the to do list prevent you creating the right systems in your business!


Focus your energy in the right places and make the time you need for business success!  Need help with your systems? Why not drop me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.