If you are anything like me then you are always trying to refine your workflow to make better use of your time.

The most reliable way for me to plan out my day is to do it the day before, just before I go home. That way, when I come into the office in the morning I know exactly what I need to do and there is no fussing around trying to work that out, I just get straight into my flow.

But a killer to this process lurks in the shadows.

The killer is those little tasks that clients/colleagues ask you to do real quick. I always try to complete them but I often find that at the end of the day, I haven’t managed to complete everything else my to-do list! (which also happens to be a motivation killer).

I have to put the undone items on my list for the next day and it goes on…some items never end up being completed because of those little tasks.

The solution, however, is simple.

We live in an era where everything needs to be done in an instant. We expect a message to be responded to quickly and call to be sharply answered. It doesn’t have to be like that! Choose to say no to those little tasks, choose to do them tomorrow, choose to complete your to-do list, choose to write your own to-do lists and not having your clients define them, CHOOSE LIFE.

Trainspotting anyone?

My attitude to quick tasks now is that I will do them, but I will speak with you before accepting to do them immediately to work out whether it really is something that needs to be done this instant or whether it can wait. Rather than just immediately accepting and not getting my other tasks done.

I encourage you to be strong. Say no to those little tasks, don’t let them control your day, simultaneously destroying your motivation. We need to learn to be patient again and to prioritise better.