Written by Deidre Barnes, NOC Head of Learning

Do you also, like me, sometimes feel like your to-do list is out to get you? Does it all just seem too much on some days? Do you wake up already feeling behind and then start running through a thousand tasks, meetings, action items and more only to end the day with half of those items still on your list?

I see you, dear reader, I am you.

I am a special needs mom, a step mom, a working mom, a stay at home mom, a home schooling mom ….. and (big breath) …. a business owner, team member, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend and … you guessed it … a human being … a mere mortal … nope, no superpowers here.

If you know me, you’ll know that I am quite driven. I want to get things done and I want to be productive. Sometimes to my own detriment and insanity.

Well, today I’m going to tell you how to get it all done!

Ok, here it comes … are you ready???

Spoiler alert! You cannot get it all done!

Sorry, not sorry!

So, let me rephrase, today I’m going to tell you how to get done … (insert dramatic drum roll) …what matters!

Big difference.

So, number one! Be picky. Yes, I said it. You don’t have to do everything! In fact, you shouldn’t do everything. Call it the pareto principle, the 80/20 principle, talk about aligning your activities to goals. The point is, you need to make sure you are spending your energy on things that matter, things that contribute to a bigger goal or a desired outcome. This principle has helped me to eliminate procrastination. I no longer fiddle for hours with tiny details that don’t make a huge difference. I’m not saying don’t be detail orientated. I’m saying, don’t waste your time on non-essential activities.

Number two! Be Bold. Call it assertiveness, call it courage. Semantics. What it boils down to is to know your worth and what that means in terms of time. If I am being deliberate about where I focus my energy and how this contributes to my output, it becomes easier for me to be assertive and ask powerful questions. Why are we doing this? What are our priorities in this time? What is the outcome of this meeting and what is my role in this? Ask the questions, make the statement, write the blog, record the vlog. Stop wasting time being fearful and do it. Be assertive. Be Brave. You will be amazed at the outcomes.

Thirdly, be Authentic. In this time, when many of us are sharing our working hours with home schooling, clay-making, cleaning schedules and zoom gymnastics meetings, there is no time to be someone else. When you use your own personal strengths, energy flows and things become easier. The point? Leverage on the strengths of your team and know your own. Allocate activities in group projects accordingly. Also, this is the time when we need to connect to people. I’m not talking about connecting on Zoom or Microsoft teams. I’m talking about real human connection. We need this in order to create real and sustainable value, for your business and your clients’. Have a real conversation about what matters to your client’s business and your client’s clients. This gives you insight into motivations and needs of all related parties. Motivation drives behaviour. Sales 101!

And there it is! My three tips for today!

1. Be picky. 2. Be bold. 3. Be Authentic.

In a nutshell: Do what matters, boldly and bravely by cutting the non-essentials and capitalizing on your strengths and talents. Seems so simple and yet a different story to actually do. This takes practice and lots and lots of positive self-talk and honest self-questioning.

The result? I end my days satisfied with my productivity, with ticked action items and an optimistic and ever-so-slight excitement about my alarm jingle of tomorrow morning.

Now for my disclaimer. Read carefully.

I am only human. I learn and I evolve, and I become a better version of myself with every day that passes. I am always looking for new ways to become more efficient and more impactful and therefore this list is a dynamic one. Be on the lookout for version 2.0 of this list as I am open to the very real possibility that tomorrow or next week I might learn some new things and I promise to share with you!