When overwhelmed by responsibilities and flooded with tasks, the last thing you can imagine doing is less. However, that may be precisely what's needed.
Do less to do more.
Your to-do list can easily overwhelm your brain, making your workflow feel counterproductive. You end up accomplishing less than if you only had a few clearly-defined tasks each day.
Taking on too much throughout the day feels like swimming upstream.
Everyone has a limited amount of energy. Willpower fades as the day goes on—it's a limited resource. Filling up your schedule doesn't mean you'll have the bandwidth to finish all those tasks.
The question remains: how do you get all your work done?
Here are two strategies that will help you do more by doing less.
Place your Most Important Tasks at the top of your list every day. These are tasks that support larger life goals.
From there, go in descending order of importance. See if you can stick to just five every day—1,300 tasks per year.
Switching between tasks makes you less likely to complete anything. Neuropsychology studies have shown that multitasking is the least effective way to manage your time and attention.
Taking it a step further, there's no such thing as multitasking. You're really multiswitching, writes computer science professor Cal Newport in his book, Deep Work.
As Newport notes, it takes roughly 20 minutes to completely focus on a task. Monotasking allows you to fully immerse yourself in a task and finish your work sooner.
By the time your workday is over, you'll actually feel like you've accomplished your goals.