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April 6, 2020

Hop to it: top tips to clear your to-do list before Easter

by Louise Cunnah posted in Quick Tips.

Ayoa | Hop to it: top tips to clear your to-do list before Easter
With the world being a strange and uncertain place right now, Easter has come at just the right time to give us a much-needed distraction and something to look forward to – whether the Easter Bunny is able to deliver your chocolate eggs or not! If you’re now working from home, it can be easy for your office hours to blur into your personal time. So, clearing your do-list before the break is a great way of freeing up your time (and your mind!) so you can relax without worry and focus on your personal projects or hobbies.

With all of us spending more time at home than ever before, now is the perfect time to get on with that task you’ve kept putting off – whether this be binge-watching an acclaimed Netflix series from start to finish (ready to discuss on your team’s next Zoom call), decluttering your wardrobe, rearranging your kitchen, or taking up an entirely new hobby like painting, sewing or writing.

Though remote working comes with many benefits, from cutting out commuting time to making us more productive, it can also be more difficult to maintain your work-life balance – especially if you’re working in the same place that you relax in, such as your bedroom or living room. Plus, with everything that’s going on in the world right now, it can understandably be more difficult to stay focused on achieving your daily, weekly or even monthly goals. It’s vital, therefore, that you allow yourself time to switch off so you can come back to work with fresh motivation and purpose.

Ready to give yourself some well-deserved time off this Easter break and devote some time to you? Keep reading for our top tips on how to spring clean your to-do list…

Prioritize your to-do list

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start if you grab your to-do list and are confronted with a long list of tasks all vying for your attention. Sure, you might have some deadlines set (which can help give you some indication of what you should begin working on first), but actually taking the time to prioritize your task list will make all the difference when it comes to stopping you from procrastinating.

When prioritizing your to-do list, there are a number of things to consider. When is each task due? How long have they been pending? Which will have the largest negative impact if they’re thrown to the bottom of the pile? Once you’ve established this, use a digital task management app to put your tasks in order of when they should be completed. In Ayoa, you can easily keep track by setting Due Dates for each task, and prioritizing these in a personal online planner, categorizing their urgency by Now, Next and Soon.

Set daily goals and chart your progress

Now that you have your priorities set, scheduling your tasks is the next step you should take to make some progress on clearing your to-do list. If you know what your goals are for each day as soon as you sit down at your desk in the morning, you’ll feel far more motivated to make a start on your task list. By regularly making a note of your progress (for example, before lunch and at the end of the working day), you’ll physically see that you’re heading towards your goals, which will encourage you to keep going when your productivity starts to wane.

In digital task management apps, such as Ayoa, you’ll always know how far you are from the finish line. Easily set Start Dates, Due Dates and Reminders to keep you on track, and drag the Progress Indicator along a task so you (and others) can see what percentage of each task is completed at a glance. However, when planning your days, it’s important to be realistic with your goals; start off small to get a feel for what you can realistically get done. If you aim to get too much done in too short a timeframe, your progress may seem slow, making you want to give up prematurely.

Break projects down into smaller tasks

Vagueness can be a killer of productivity. How many times have you been tasked with a project and held off from starting because you didn’t know which part to tackle first – or simply, what actions you needed to take to get it on the road to completion? One of the biggest reasons that many projects fail (around 60 to 85%, according to Gartner) is because of unclear objectives. So, breaking big ones down into smaller tasks could be just the ticket to getting you motivated to start making progress on them – and if you’re unclear of what you need to achieve, don’t be afraid to ask someone who does. With many of us now working remotely, communication is more vital than ever.

By doing this, it may look like you have more to do, but having a bunch of smaller tasks instead of one big project will give you more to cross off your to-do list and they’ll be completed quicker too – which is oh-so-satisfying. Ayoa makes it simple to break projects down with dedicated Task Boards. Simply create a Task Board for your project, then add as many tasks as you like. You can then create different categories for different kinds of tasks. You can even set Start and Due Dates for individual tasks within your Task Board, as well as add dedicated Reminders, Attachments, Comments and Progress Indicators to each one.

Give yourself a break!

Now more than ever, it’s vital to take care of your mental health and well-being by regularly stepping away from your work and having a proper break. If you’re being confined to staring at the same four walls for hours on end, it can be easy to feel uninspired, and for your energy and productivity to take a hit. So, make sure you’re getting up and moving every once in a while. Simply heading to the kitchen to grab a coffee or going out to your garden or balcony for some fresh air can be the perfect way to clear your head.

It can be easy to feel guilty about taking breaks while you’re trusted to work from home – but one of the reasons that remote workers are typically more productive is because they take more breaks, as well as longer downtime sessions. We all know that taking regular ‘brain breaks’ is beneficial for refocusing the mind – and according to a survey from Airtasker, office workers tend to take shorter breaks than those that work at home.

In the current climate, we hope everyone is keeping safe and positive, and that these tips will help you make great progress on your to-do list – so you can have the relaxing Easter break you deserve. Ayoa’s Mind Mapping, Task Management and Collaboration features can help you stay motivated, maintain a schedule and keep in contact with your team. Discover more about our features or sign up for free today!

For tips on getting started with Ayoa and using our software to help you and your team transition to working remotely, sign up for one of our FREE weekly webinars.

Louise Cunnah

Louise Cunnah has always had a passion for the written word, leading to her studying English, Media and Journalism at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Since graduating in 2014, she has held a number of different roles in marketing, both agency-side and in-house for brands like Ayoa. She loves taking on a challenge and has written content on a diverse range of subjects over the years, including horticulture, business management, telecommunications, health and safety, productivity, neurodiversity, and personal finance (to name but a few!).

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