What to Do When You Have More Tasks Than Time

Here’s the dilemma: you have more tasks than you have time to perform them. So many things to do, but so little time to do it all.

On one side, you have a pile of tasks and activities to perform. On the other side, you have a limited amount of time to perform it all. And you’re wondering: “How do I make all those tasks fit in the time I have?” And making it all fit can be quite challenging.

Let’s get this out of the way. The time part of the equation is fixed. You have a hard limit of 24 hours per day. You can’t get more, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Thus, you can’t have more time in a day to make it all fit.

So what are your options?

Phase Out Time-Wasting Tasks

One thing you can do is phase out the tasks that simply occupy time but add no value to your life. These are time wasters and they occupy the time space that could be used performing other, more useful tasks. In other words, many of the things you do you shouldn’t do at all.

Your productivity is greatly affected by your ability to drive out these distractions out of your day.

Pass On Transferable Tasks

That something needs to get done doesn’t mean that it needs to get done by you. If you look carefully at your list of tasks and activities, you’ll discover that you can transfer some of them to someone else. And the time you save, you can use for other activities.

Bear in mind that you may need to pay someone to do the transferable activity on your behalf. But paying to save you time might be a good trade-off. For instance, you can pay a teenager to mow your lawn, and use the extra time you gain to go assist to your daughter’s ballet dancing recital. A good trade-off, I would say.

Plow Through Important Tasks

You’ve phased out and pass on the tasks you could. Now, you have to plow through the rest. But what should you “shove” first? You have to decide which tasks and activities will get your attention and energy first.

If you can only get a few things done, you’re better off having the important tasks done. This is where people often lose their way; they do a lot of activities but, because they focused on low, easy activities, they have very little results to show for all that activity. Focusing your efforts on your most important tasks and activities will maximize your return on your investment.

When you work, work. Don’t get sidetracked or distracted. Anytime you fall for distractions, you delay the moment you’ll be able to cross it off the list.

And, let me prepare you for this. Not everyone will be happy with your choice of important tasks and activities; they’d wish their agenda would become yours. You may be receptive to their pleas, but remember that, ultimately, the choice is yours.