Creating a top five to do list: The time management trick that changed the way I run my business

Welcome to Work at Home Wednesday- it's back! Each Wednesday I will focus on a work at home mom related topic. 

You don't have to be a mom to use these tips. 

So for those of you who don't know, I have been working at home for the past four years. I have worked as a marketing consultant for small businesses as well as a blogger and YouTuber. I have many revenue streams that create a patchwork quilt of opportunity

While I love working from home and being my own boss, I am a mom first. And without focused effort and attention, I can quickly let work take over my mom time, or get so caught up in other things that I don't get things crossed off my to do. 

To avoid this I have created my top five list. This is simply the top five things that absolutely have to get done during the course of a day. 

I jot this list down the night before with my regular to do list. I just give priority to my must dos. 

Since I am a pen and paper lady I use a notebook, but you could easily use Google calendar or the reminders function on your iPhone and create the same list. 

The list might look like this: 

1. Call client for conference call 

2. Edit video

3. Follow up with sponsor

4. Make eye appointment

5. Order bouncy house for birthday party

I only include the things that absolutely HAVE to get done that day. I don't include things I do daily like dishes, meal planning or laundry. 

If I am making a phone call as part of my top five, I include the phone number on the list. I know how easily distracted I can be, so instead of picking up my phone and looking for a number and seeing text messages I haven't read I go ahead and put the number on the list. 

As a WAHM my time is precious, the amount of work time I have is flex. I might have an hour and a half to do five hours of work. (Not billable hours, of course. That would be HIGHLY unethical.) So by having my list handy I can easily move on from one important take to the next. 

I also include both work and personal things on my list. Some people keep these completely separate, but that's not realistic for me. Because my work includes blogging and YouTube my personal life is often in crossover. 

What about you? What tricks do you use to stay on track?