Kelsey Ramsden, a serial entrepreneur and consultant who runs three businesses in different cities, explains the art of managing a crazy to-do list:
“I believe that the notion that we have many things that we can attach our focus to at one time is inaccurate. It stems from a belief that we’re superhuman. The truth of the matter is that our brains, from a fundamental development perspective, actually can’t do it, which is why we become so distracted.
“A lot of the people I talk to will say, “I had a busy day but I don’t know what I got done.” Here’s the thing: at the heart of being able to do a lot of things is doing one thing at a time very strategically. I have a pair of to-do lists—one personal, one business—and each features three columns: manageable that-day tasks, non-urgent demands to get to the next day and projects on the horizon. I consider myself to be an impatient realist—I would love to get to everything, and I set high standards and expectations. But I also know that good work gets done; great work takes time.
“You also need to ask yourself, “What are things I shouldn’t be doing myself, anyway?” You have to understand what you are doing, and why you are doing it. From there, do a strong cull: declutter your schedule and set time for those things that are impactful, that you are impactful doing.
“Part of that is being brutally honest. And part of that is giving yourself systems that support you in maintaining flow. For everyone, that’s different. For me, I know when I work best is in the morning. You have to recognize your work cycle. You have to create the conditions for yourself to be successful.”