How to Tackle an Overwhelming List of Tasks

This last week I didn’t keep up with my task list. Some work with a client required all of my attention and the notification badges on my email, todo list, and Slack messages kept growing.

When Saturday rolled around I was buried. After dumping everything in my mind and organizing tasks into logical contexts I realized that there was no way I was going to get through everything. The glowing red double digit notification badges didn’t give me any hope or encouragement either.

I’m not in the clear, but here’s what helped me gain momentum and dig my way out of the hole:

  1. Split tasks up – even if they are small. It’s helpful to break up tasks, even if they should take less than 30min, and schedule the pieces sequentially through the week. Defining the different steps will assist you in tackling them with the slices of spare time you may have throughout the week.
  2. Give yourself permissions to punt. In my case, there was no way I was going to get everything done. I scheduled some tasks for later in the week and notified anyone who was waiting on the task that it was going to be delayed.
  3. Prioritize. Give all of the items on your list of a priority, this helps give you some additional context about how to start attacking the list. Todoist has some great prioritization functions.
  4. Start outsourcing. There were a bunch of tasks that I could send to a VA
  5. Look at tasks as an opportunity, not a burden. All of the items on my list are things I’ve chosen to do, chosen to commit to. No one else has put these on my plate, which means they are opportunities that I’ve decided are worth the pain. This is a gift, not a burden!