Is your “to do” list never ending? Do you find you spend longer maintaining your list than you do doing it?

If so, here are five things you can do today:

1. Know what you need to do:

Prioritise by identifying the most important things you need to achieve this quarter, month, week and day. Decide what tasks or projects are crucial to your success and plan times in your diary to do them. Put only what you want to achieve today on your current to do list. Having a list detailing everything you want to get done will just overload you and cause you to find reasons to avoid starting work on anything as the task seem too momentous.

2. Know how you are going to do it:

Break projects into small manageable chunks. Firstly work on elements that will take you more time to complete and make sure the remaining things will take less time. If you leave the longest parts for later you are more likely to run out of steam before the end of the day.

3. Know what approach you need to take:

Each day make it your first task to tackle whatever it is on your list that gives you that horrible sinking feeling when you think about doing it. By doing the thing you dread most you will start the day with a feeling of achievement and you day will only get better as you proceed to work on things that you find much more enjoyable.

4. Know when to do it:

Give yourself fifteen minutes to focus on the first task on your list without interruption. Ignore telephones, e-mails, texts and visitors by blocking out time in your diary. Let whoever needs to know that you are unobtainable. Once the first fifteen minutes is up you have a choice: continue with the task in hand, or move onto the next thing on your list. Chances are you’ll feel that you are getting somewhere and will want to continue with the task in hand. Worst case scenario, you will at least have reduced the total time needed for this project by fifteen minutes and can follow the same process again tomorrow. At some point this task will be completed, even if you only work on it fifteen minutes at a time! Make your mantra “just do it – now!”

5. Know what to do to celebrate your successes:

Give yourself a reward for completing each batch of three things on your “to do” list. Grab a coffee, have a chat with a colleague or take a walk around the block. Just take a moment for yourself to breathe and refocus. You’ll be amazed at just how much you can achieve if you follow these simple steps.