New Year’s Eve seems like a very long time ago, doesn’t it? It was less than 6 weeks ago! Let’s say you made this New Year’s resolution, “I want to get more done in 2021.” Why New Year’s resolution fails in February? “…virtually every study tells us that around 80% of New Year’s resolutions will get abandoned around this month,” according to Forbes.com (2.11.2020, tinyurl.com/19a5xxsa).
One reason this resolution fails? It’s too vague. Here’s an example of a proper goal: “I will complete at least two high-priority tasks every day in 2021.” (See my post on creating SMART goals here.)
Another reason tasks don’t get done? Believing you’ll remember to do them. If you’re like most people, you won’t.
Here are 8 tips
- Record tasks in a daily To-Do List (paper or electronic). Be realistic.
- Record all tasks in a Master Task List.
- Record date-related tasks directly in your calendar (e.g., Friday—car inspection at 9:00).
- Schedule time in your calendar to do tasks. Failing to do this is a reason things don’t get done.
- Record each task the instant you think of it or it’ll be forgotten with the next interruption.
- Prepare tomorrow’s daily To-Do List in the afternoon or evening. This’ll help ease your mind for restful sleep.
- Create a daily mantra to support your goal, such as: I will carry out my high priority tasks today.
- Be intentional – make a firm commitment to stick with your new system.
Personal pet peeve
Failure to include end times for meetings, especially with so many Zoom meetings during Covid. For example: Zoom meeting [add meeting title] at [start time] on February 10, 2021. The default is assumed to be one hour. But sometimes meetings are longer (or shorter) than that, which can play havoc with schedules. When a meeting runs long, you must decide to leave before it ends or remain, knowing that what was scheduled next will be delayed or not done. Including meeting ending times shows respect for others’ schedules.
To create to-do lists and increase productivity, read my post, What’s the Secret to Getting Things Done? (tinyurl.com/2vjdj7uz).
Have you tried creating to-do lists but they don’t seem to work for you? Read my post, Why To-Do Lists Fail (tinyurl.com/c1fn7utl).
By completing your most important tasks every day, or most days, you will greatly increase productivity and the all-important motivation to continue using your new system—well past February.