Life and never-ending to-do lists seem to go hand in hand. We cross one item off seven more appear while carrying the stress of "never having enough time."
In our pursuit of greater productivity, we seek out the newest book, app, or software program to help us get things done and experience increased productivity.
But what if lack of productivity isn't the problem?
We understand what needs to get done; the tasks are staring us in the face taunting us from our endless list or just the pile of laundry on the floor.
Our struggle isn't a lack of productivity or understanding of what needs to accomplish but a lack of clarity as to where to place our focus.
We walk around our house or out of meetings at work with to-do's that pile on top of our laundry list of to-dos we already had written down.
Being peppered with multiple "To Do's" day in and day out won't stop, this is the nature of life and work.
So how can we gain greater clarity with our to-do's?
Expectations are defined as: "A belief that someone will or should achieve something."
If you, your spouse, or boss decides something is worthy of landing on your to-do list, then it becomes one of your priorities.
The funny thing about priorities is you can only have one at a time thus the need to clarify expectations.
Expectation goes beyond the tasks of work to the psychology of work.
We have our to-do list, and then we have the voice in our head wondering if we are meeting the expectation of our spouse, boss, or anyone else we feel we need "TO DO" something for.
We clarify expectations by asking the simple question:
"When does this task need to be completed?"
The only way to know what can wait is to have clear, set times and dates that create natural boundaries for your work.
When we have tasks that lack precise schedules we lose focus on what is most important.
Can your boss insist that you push all other work aside to complete an assigned task? Of course, but it is then your job to clarify expectations by clearly communicating what you have on your list of to-dos and how focusing on the newly assigned tasks will affect your other workload. Can your spouse insist that you push other work aside to complete a task...I'll let you two work that out (smile).
Clarifying expectations around your work by identifying deadlines and due dates will give you a greater understanding on where to place your focus at home, work, or anywhere else you find yourself with a "To Do" on your list.
You may just get the laundry done and conquer the world in the process!
How do you establish clear expectations around your work? What would you add? Leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts!