The Solution To Your Never Ending To-Do List

Jordana Jaffe portrait 052112Today’s post is ALL about managing – and actually completing – your seemingly never-ending to-do list.

I’ve spoken to LOTS of people recently about this – from friends to peers to clients – and it seems to be something that most people truly struggle with. Well, struggle no more! Here is the ultimate guide to getting your to-do list DONE. (ps. If you need more support after reading my steps, I’m offering a super exciting, wildly life changing opportunity to help you give your business and life the ultimate organizing makeover – think ease-filled schedule, calming to-do list, and blissful work space – so be sure to read more about it below).

The 5 Steps to Getting Your To-Do List DONE

1. Make a Master List. Consolidate all of your to-do lists and create one big one. I call it, The Master List! Whether you have lists on post-its, note cards, in notebooks, scraps of paper – wherever – gather them all together and write all of them down on one list. Throw all other lists out once you do this. Also, I recommend you do this in a notebook so that you don’t lose this list easily and that you can find it easily, as well.

2. Break everything down into super bite-sized steps. (Tweet-worthy!) In all likelihood, now that you have everything on one list, you might feel, while yes organized, also a bit overwhelmed. Not to worry, love! Here’s the solution. Break every task down into smaller steps until none of the tasks overwhelm you anymore. Even if the steps seem ridiculously simple – better that they are simple and get done than the alternative.

3. See what can be delegated. Give your list a look and start to see which tasks can be delegated, outsourced or removed altogether. I call this, the Elimination Round. I know it may feel scary or unfamiliar to let control of some of these things, but I promise, the dollars are behind the discomfort. Breathe deeply and go forth regardless. Some great resources to help you delegate that I love: Fancy Hands (for online tasks) and Task Rabbit (for in person and online tasks).

4. Guesstimate how long it will take you. Now that you’ve cut your list down by a lot, go over it once again and give a guess as to how long each task will take you. Sometimes, when we look at something on our to-do list, we imagine that it will take us DAYS. But when you start doing this exercise, you will see that what you thought would take you hours will only take you 30 minutes in all likelihood. (Note: better to overestimate, but don’t go crazy with it).

5. Find space in your calendar for each task. Now that you know exactly how much time you need for each task, it’s time to put it in your calendar. Look for open pockets in your calendar and put the task that fits that time frame in there. White space between 10-10:30am? Perfect! Make those four quick calls then. Keep going until every task is given a spot in your calendar.

As I mentioned in my last post, my commitment to you, moving forward, is to help you plan more in your business so that you can play more in your life. Being organized makes your business and life feels so much more manageable and calming and fun. For those of you who don’t know, I began my entrepreneurial journey as a professional organizer 7 years ago, so I’ve always loved everything organization.




Jordana Jaffe, founder of Embarkability, is an organizing expert for business owners. She teaches women entrepreneurs how to plan more in their businesses so that they can play more in their lives. Whether you need to map out your marketing plan, simplify your weekly schedule or organize your budget, Jordana helps you add ease and order to your business and life. You can find out more on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.