Are you at war with your to-do list?

You have a to-do list, but you can’t seem to get along with it. As in: you can never seem to cross items off of it. You get them done, but not as quickly as you intended, or you wind up prioritizing the wrong tasks and scrambling later.

Here’s why your to-do list isn’t getting done and what you can do to fix the issue.

You’re Prioritizing Tasks, Not Growth

It might seem counterintuitive not to prioritize tasks on a to-do list, but if you’re prioritizing tasks, you’re going about this all wrong.

Think of it this way.

If you prioritize tasks, you’ll go through a project reaching for whatever task comes to your attention first. If your prioritize growth, you can easily distinguish what deserves the most attention.

For example, if you’re interested in growing your audience, think about what projects your team should focus on in order to grow your audience. Email lists are more important in this case than debating the wording of an ad.

Once you stop focusing on tasks, it’s easier to implement a growth strategy that gives you actual results.

Your Inbox Controls You

Of course, it’s hard to prioritize growth if you’re working in a task-oriented environment. For most people, this comes through in the same place: their inbox.

There’s a reason why most people get sucked into the black hole of inboxes: our brains are wired to react. If the phone rings or your inbox pings, it’s easy to leap on that task first, even if you’re already in the middle of something else.

The problem is that if you spend all day reacting to tasks in your inbox, you won’t spend any time handling long-term goals.

We’re not saying you should delete your email app and ignore your inbox forevermore. We’re saying that you should be strategic. Instead of responding 24/7, segment a part of your day for responding to emails. This will keep you from jumping between tasks.

And if you have separation anxiety, think of it this way: if someone really needs to get your attention, you can train them to use other methods for an immediate response. If you’re at work, they can flag you in person. If you’re away from work, they can call you. It’s that easy.

You Have Scheduling Problems

In case you couldn’t already tell, time management is a big factor in your to-do list success. Which is why scheduling issues are so detrimental to your success.

Maybe you’re overscheduling. You’ll know this happens if you spend the weekend planning your week only to be thrown off when life happens and that one unexpected task messed you up for the rest of the week.

Conversely, under-scheduling is just as big of a problem as overscheduling. If you don’t schedule anything, you’ll spend all of your time reacting instead of being efficient.

The best approach is a happy medium. Create enough of a schedule to provide structure and a sense of direction, but leave enough wiggle room that you can be flexible when surprises fall in your lap.

Take Charge of Your To-Do List

You control your to-do list, not the other way around.

One of the best ways to boost productivity is to use the right tools. That applies to your task list and your marketing tools in equal measure. That’s why we provide comprehensive marketing automation solutions so that you can stop worrying about small tasks and focus on the big picture.

Ready to take charge of your productivity? Here’s how our product can help.