What's the best way to whittle down your to-do list before the holiday madness sets in?
With two days until Thanksgiving Day, I have officially switched over to top chef mode. Chile, mama can burn! My aunt's famous macaroni and cheese, which will be made with the finest cheeses, along with my sweet potatoes, will permeate the air in my home tonight reminding me 'tis the season for giving thanks. But before I get to the stove, I have about 50 things to check off of my to-do list at work TODAY! You know there's no way to get that much done in between two meetings, follow-up chats with team members, checking email and voicemail and running to the gym and the bank today! I must be crazy (lol). By now, you should know I am a little crazy and a little rock and roll (really R&B). So I had to come up with a plan to get at least the important tasks done before 6 p.m. See tips below:
Prioritize: A former boss gave me this tip. Draw a box and separate it into four quadrants. Starting with the upper left-hand corner and going clockwise, label each section one, two, three, four. Focus on getting one and two done today.
Delegate: If you have an assistant, tell her to clear the decks and give her a couple of tasks from section two of your prioritized list. Don't start whining if you don't have an assistant because neither do I. It's been three years, two days and one hour since I had an assistant, but who's counting. Don't worry, I've got you covered. Call on team members whose jobs you usually do (you know who I'm talking about) to step up. Have them do all of the things you normally do: Send the email and cc: you, make the follow-up calls, get necessary approval from the boss, etc. This is where your management and leadership skills come in. Utilize them to show everyone how you handle business.
Start Early: Like me, some of you only have until the end of the day to get things together, while others are working tomorrow as well. Either way, start working your plan now. Some like to approach one task at a time, while others jump around a bit. I'm probably the former because it does me well to know when something is complete and out of my hair. Procrastination in this case is your enemy. Don't do it.
Stress Less: I woke up this morning a little manic about all that lie ahead. I then admonished myself for thinking I would lose my mind trying to unrealistically get "everything" done. In today's fast-paced, unrelenting world of work, you'll never get EVERYTHING done. I'm sure someone in the comments box will defy me here. Instead, do your best to execute the necessary and leave the rest until next Monday.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!