The First Step For Ditching “Catch-Up Mode”
One of the most common frustrations I hear is,
“I’m always in catch-up mode and can never seem to get ahead.”
This cycle can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. No matter how hard you work, how many hours you put in, there always seems to be a ton you didn’t get to.
I find this phenomenon to be a huge source of burnout and procrastination, too.
Not only is your energy being depleted from all the work you are doing, it is also being sapped by the added layer of worry and pressure that you are never going to be “caught up”.
It’s a double whammy.
Can you relate?
Now imagine what it would feel like to look down at the end of the day and see your entire list has been completed.
Not only that, but you feel very prepared for the next day and are clear about your priorities.
How cool would that be?
To make this fantasy a reality you need to start with one very critical habit:
Only put on your daily to-do list what you actually have time to do that day.
In order to work off of a true to-do list you first need to know how much time you have that day to spend on your tasks.
Beyond the obvious appointments in your calendar you need to factor in email time, interruptions, meals, any commuting time, and anything else that is a regular time-drain in your day.
The time that remains is your actual work capacity (most of us greatly over-estimate this).
Next you need to conservatively estimate how long the items on your list will take (most of us greatly under-estimate this).
When you work through this process, you are forced to get even more clear about what is actually a priority for that day and what isn’t.
You are also forced to get real with yourself about what you are actually capable of accomplishing in any given day.
Guess what automatically becomes waaaay easier to do?
Because all of a sudden, you can see that you need to protect far more of your time in order to stay caught up.
And through this heightened awareness of your boundaries and true priorities you gain more momentum and trust in what you commit to each day.
You find yourself proud of what you accomplished rather than guilty for what you didn’t.
This new habit will not only alleviate a ton of stress it also happens to save you a bunch of time.
So tell me, how many items do you put on your list each day? How do you determine just want can fit into your day? Share below!
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