The small todos that don’t get done.
We all have them.
You know, the little things that always seem to slip through the cracks.
We tell ourselves that the small things will take care of themselves.
But, what happens when they don’t?
What’s Not Getting Done?
Normally, it is about getting the big things done.
After all, we have to stick to our priorities, right?
However, if we let enough little things by… they start to add up.
Before we know it, the flood waters have reached our waist.
And then there is a lot more work to do.
Little things unattended become big things.
Tasks undone create more work.”
We intend to do these seemingly simple and innocuous tasks, but we never get to them.
Why can’t we get the small things done?
Catching the Little Things
The small tasks are often the hardest to get done.
They are the ones that linger on our todo list indefinitely.
Here are some tips to ensure that you “Do the Little Things:”
- Have a System – If you hope to catch the small things, you must have a method to do it. Many people miss the small things simply because they are not tracking them. Keep a list. It doesn’t matter whether it is on paper, or on your smartphone, but ensure you have a way to track your todos.
- Capture Them – Small tasks are easily forgotten. When one presents itself, don’t let it slip by. Write down even the tiniest of tasks down immediately.
- Review Regularly – Your todo list can’t have your back if you don’t look at it. Ever find that abandoned list in your desk drawer of the things you were going to do? Look at your list regularly, and keep it in a prominent easy-to-see place.
- Do Them Bit-by-Bit – When the list of “small things” piles up, it can become quite daunting. A todo list with 100+ items can leave you wondering where to begin. However, small tasks are easily whittled down. Attack that list bit-by-bit. Soon it will be under control again.
- Fit Them In – Small tasks are just that… small. You can fit them in during even the smallest of opportunities. Instead of wasting that 5 minutes before the meeting playing “Words with Friends,” use the time to get a small task done. Return a call, answer an email, or prepare for your next appointment.
- Delegate Them – Small tasks are often the best ones for delegating. They can often be done by others without much explanation. So, keep the tasks that require your expertise and delegate the smaller ones that a team member or colleague could address.
- Do One Thing You Wouldn’t Have Done Today – Small tasks are ones that don’t scream for our attention. So, you need to give them extra effort when appropriate. Do one extra small task each day that has been lingering on your list.
- Group Them – Small tasks don’t take much time. When you have a small time block, do 3-5, or even 8-10 little tasks in a bunch. Knocking out small tasks in groups is not only productive, but feels great! This motivation can help drive your bigger priorities, as well.
Adding Up the Small Things
Getting the most important tasks done is normally our priority.
However, you can’t ignore the little things.
If you do, they will catch up to you.
So, take a look at your list and make an extra effort to do a few small things today.
Question: What small things regularly slip by you?