We’ve all done it.  We embrace the new year with a new perspective and goals we plan on achieving. We make resolutions in both our personal and business lives. however, it’s no secret that by February or March, our motivation starts to fade. Tasks and emails start piling up at work and we start falling behind. Instead of hitting the gym on our lunch break as planned, we stay in the office to catch up on emails and work on the increasingly daunting list of to-dos. As the beginning of Q2 rolls around, we’ve all but forgotten our good intentions and are back to feeling like a hamster on a wheel, running to catch up and getting nowhere.

Does this scenario sound familiar? The only way to evoke real change and achieve a different outcome is to make a shift in how we manage our day. There are only 24 hours in each day, no more–no less, so we must decide what to prioritize and ensure that we maintain these defined priorities even as the unplanned craziness creeps into our lives each day. If your new year’s resolution is to go to the gym every day, you’ll need to allocate some of that precious time to this goal. That time each day is an appointment with yourself. Schedule it on your calendar at work, so others can’t book over it, set a reminder and treat it like you would a meeting.

We’ll never get it all done. You will go to your grave with a to-do list! So, instead of drowning in trying to get it all done, let’s focus on getting the most important things done this new year. Using your Outlook Tasks and Calendar is a great way to prioritize the most important goals or tasks and to organize information supporting each “to do”. This is a technique that we at McGhee Productivity Solutions train our clients in.  We call it Take Back Your Life!®

By tracking tasks in Outlook, using colors to categorize them and planning time on your calendar for completing your most important projects, you’ll be able to clearly see what’s on your plate and move from being reactive to proactive. This will allow you to weigh “to-do’s” as they come in and decide if they align with what’s most important. For instance, if you have time scheduled on your calendar to work on a big project that’s due next week, when an email request comes in for something unrelated, you’ll be able to easily see what’s on your plate and make a decision accordingly. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on priority tasks without getting distracted.

Access our complimentary guides to assist you in setting up your system to keep you off the road to nowhere!