Look at your To-Do list. Think about each task on that list. How much time do you think each task will realistically take? Now if you tally up the total amount of time needed to accomplish all your tasks today – how much time is that? Scary, isn’t it!

And that is exactly the problem we all face every day. We add more tasks to the list than we can ever dream of completing. We think a task will only take 15 minutes, but in reality, it takes closer to 30 minutes to complete. This leads to a “backlog” of tasks left over from the day before (or last week) and we never seem to catch up – fighting a wish-list instead of managing a To-Do list.

I have found, the best way to conquer this problem, is to slot each task into my diary and treat it as a meeting / appointment.

When I do my weekly planning, I look at each task needing completion and determine a realistic time frame needed. I then prioritise each task (I use colour coding) and slot the highest priority tasks into my diary, along with all the other meetings and commitments. Working my way through the priority list, I slot tasks into my diary – ensuring that all high and medium priority tasks are scheduled for that week. Low priority tasks only get done if and when all higher priority tasks are done, or I delegate it to someone else.

Realistically looking at time frames for tasks ensures that we don’t overload ourselves. Clearly, having 10 hours’ worth of tasks in any 8 hour day will not be achievable. And without proper planning and prioritisation, it is easy to get stuck with the smaller, less important tasks instead of getting the high priority tasks done.

Commit to prioritising, time framing and scheduling your To-Do list for next week (and every week there after).

Tiana Wilson-Buys is a “Get Stuff Done” Business Coach and Productivity Strategist. She offers a free 10-Day Time-Saving Tactics programme via e-mail which you can find here.