Samantha McDonald

SmartCompany /

Facing a mountain of work? Relax and get organised. It’s just a matter of taking the first step, then doing it again. And again…

Step and repeat

One of my clients was having a meltdown last week. She had a to-do list as long as her arm, and she just didn’t know where to start. It was stressing her out so much, it was making her sick! I had to intervene, and asked her to follow these simple steps:

  1. Pick out one (yes, just one!) really important task, one that absolutely positively has to be done today. And do it. But don’t thinking about all the other tasks while you’re doing it, that’s when you’ll find that you’re overwhelmed from everything that’s on your plate! Simply choose one task and do it, without a single thought about any of the other things you have to do. You will find that, not only will the task take you half the time (because your brain isn’t being consumed by irrelevant thoughts), but you’ll also be clear-headed for your next task.
  1. Repeat step 1 several times until you feel that the big jobs have all been completed.
  1. Have a good look at all the other little incidental things on your to-do list, and see what you can delegate. Of course, this won’t work if you’re a solopreneur; you’d only be delegating to yourself, and that’s hardly fun, is it?
  1. Throw open your diary and translate your to-do list into it. This could also be done on your CRM, Outlook, or any other electronic calendar system. If something doesn’t absolutely have to be done today, and you honestly don’t have time to do it, then what’s the point in stressing? Simply slot it into a day that doesn’t look so full.
  1. Make sure you’re on top of your to-do list by checking it thoroughly every few days. What wasn’t urgent on Monday can suddenly become very urgent on Friday. So make sure you know what’s going on.

Needless to say, my client feels a lot less stressed this week! She’s discovered that, even though her list of things to do had originally seemed so daunting, the truth was that she had plenty of time to do them all once she organised them properly. Hey, she even found time to have a little time out. And that has to be a good thing!

To read more Samantha McDonald blogs, click here.


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