Four to-do lists that’ll help small business owners at the end of the year

to-do lists

It’s under six weeks until the end of the year. For many people, it’s four weeks until the end of the work year.

Don’t anybody panic!

There is still time to ensure that you end the year feeling like you got things done, checked things off your list and closed some things out. Following are some quick and simple ways to maximise the run to year end.

Short and sweet, because I know you’re busy. Here they are.

Make a MUST list

This is the list of things that absolutely must get done.

No excuses. No maybes. It could be the report you need to submit, the new client you need to get started, the presentation you must deliver, the project you need to close, the business plan you have to outline.

There shouldn’t be too much on this list (mine has five items). It’s not your daily to-do list. These are the make or break items, the keep-you-awake-at-night things that are non-negotiable. Write them down, allocate how much time each one will take (i.e the actual hours of work required) and schedule it. Make sure you have enough runway to accomplish what you are setting out, or rethink either the number of items on the list, or the tasks/timing/resources available to accomplish them.

Make a WANT list

These are things that haven’t made it on to your must list, but that you would really like to get done before the end of the work year.

Perhaps it’s a new project you want to get a start on, a side hustle you need to get some traction on, a secondary initiative that needs to be closed out but won’t be a disaster if it doesn’t. You may have a few more things on this list. Identify how long each one will take you in hours of work so you have a clear view as to what’s required. Prioritise them so you can work through them as you get time.

Make a STOP IT OR DROP it list

This is the stuff that is currently on your plate that can either wait until next year, or be dropped altogether.

We all have this stuff. Lot’s of it. What can you delegate? What can be delayed? What is just no longer required (or never necessary) that can go? There is something ridiculously satisfying about crossing things off your list that don’t need to be there. Get ruthless with this. Enjoy it.

Make a ME list

This is the fun one. What are the things that, before the new year tolls, you would like to do for yourself? Yes, you have time to think about this.

At this time of year, we can tell ourselves it’s even harder to make space for ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be planned. What do you want to do for yourself in the next six weeks? Get a facial, start a fitness program, take an art class, have dinner with your girlfriends, take a mini break, book a coaching session, write for ten minutes a day, go shopping, have a proper date night, clear your space, do a charity clean out, read every night, get your hair done, research your Masters degree options, donate to charity, clear your vision board?

It’s not too late to get started on something or make something a priority. You don’t have to wait until next year. What is on your list? Pick three things you really want for yourself before year end, and schedule them now.

There you have it. Four lists. You can get that done in 30 minutes or less. You know what all the things are. Place them on the right list. Get rid of the rest. Focus and go.

One last thing — please don’t forget to look after yourself. First and foremost, breathe. Not those shallow things you call a breath squeezed in because it has to be (or, you know, you die) but the long slow deep belly breathing that sustains you and supports your nervous system. If you feel stressed out, overwhelmed or anxious, take three of these luxurious breaths into your belly, extending your exhale as long as possible, and bring a moment of calm into your day.

Six weeks. Laser clarity. Deep breathing. You can do this.

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.

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