The Reason Why Most To-Do Lists Suck PLUS What to Do About It

Sep 1, 2022 | 0 comments

There you have it – a bright-colored sticky note.

It has a list of things you need to get done.

However, there is 1 problem. You only keep adding.

The list is not getting smaller. Which means you are not getting anything done.

This sucks out the last drop of motivation you have to get things done.

There is no end in sight – so you decide you might as well not do anything.

Welcome to the vicious cycle of paralysis by productivity.

Managing your to-do list & productivity is an integral part of good COO training & leadership development.

In this post, I will be discussing 5 proven strategies that can double your productivity instantly.

Let’s get started.

#1: Build a 5 Minute Pre- Work Routine:

I learned this one from a COO Alliance member.

There is a certain magic that happens in your brain when you just do a mental dump and write down all the tasks you need to be doing.

You feel like everything is back in control now.

You finally get clarity on what actually needs to get done. You are not messing around with a hundred different tasks on your mind.

It’s written with ink & paper.

“Just being confident about what needs to get done increases the chance of it actually getting done.”  – Cameron Herold.

So start your work day with a 5-minute mental dump and see how things get done faster.

#2: Stop Adding:

“Here’s a terrifying (but strangely comforting) fact: A whopping 89% of people don’t finish their daily to-do lists.

Our community members from the COO Alliance disagree.

They say it’s way more than 89%.

What would happen to your sense of work ethic & productivity if you know that you are not going to get everything on your to-do list done?

It would die a slow & painful death.

You would become less productive over time.

Do not keep adding stuff to your to-do list throughout the day.

Your only goal should be to cross off the tasks on the list. That’s it.

If your to-do list had 10 things in them and you only do 7 of them every day – your productivity will go down over time.

On the other hand, if your To-Do list had only 5 things and you got all 5 done then your productivity will skyrocket over time.

This brings us to the next point…

#3: The Power of 5:

Every morning after your 5-minute mental dump – aggressively prioritize the top 5 highest impact tasks.

Is it going to be leadership development, strategic partnerships, and new revenue generation?

Or wasting time over approving a graphic design and attending pointless meetings?

You be the judge of this and choose the 5 that matter most.

Ignore everything else on your list. It’s just fluff, they will show up again if they are that important.

Arrange the 5 tasks in descending order of complexity and difficulty.

Once you have done that, start working on number one until it’s done.

Then move on to number two and so forth.

That’s it.

This is the age-old method for peak performance & productivity.

Thank me later.

#4: Eat The Frog:

I mentioned in the previous point to start with the ugliest and most daunting task.

If you aspire to be a high-performing COO then you need to make the habit of eating the frog.

You have most likely heard Brian Tracy talk about this concept.

The dopamine hit you get from doing the most difficult task first-

is so rewarding that you wouldn’t want to lose the momentum and end up getting all the stuff done.

Try this for a week and you will never go back to your old way of living.

#5: Use The 80/20 Rule

If you raised your eyebrows when I mentioned in the previous point to just pick the 5 most important tasks then this is for you…

Most of you know that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work.

But how many of us actually practice it as COOs?

Imagine you only have 2 hours to work in a day.

Just 2 hours.

What would you do right away to save your organization?

Those are the activities you should be doing for an entire 8-hour work day.

Everything else must either be ignored or delegated.





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Written By Cameron Herold

Written By Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is known around the world as THE CEO WHISPERER. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of company's exponential growth. Cameron's built a dynamic consultancy: his current clients include a "Big 4" wireless carrier and a monarchy. What do his clients say they like most about him? He isn't a theory guy they like that Cameron speaks only from experience. He earned his reputation as the CEO Whisperer by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less. Cameron is a top-rated international speaker and has been paid to speak in 26 countries. He is also the top-rated lecturer at EO/MIT's Entrepreneurial Masters Program and a powerful and effective speaker at Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer leadership events around the world.

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