Women are great multi-taskers. We pride ourselves in how productive we are and how much we get done in 24 hours. It’s amazing, right? But in our quest to complete our to-do list and check off all the tasks that we have on our list, how much time do we take to think strategically about what we are doing and why we are doing it? How can we do this if we busy ourselves “doing” all the time?

We get lost in our own productivity and hard work.

Research shows us that men are better managing their careers than women. They spend 80% of their time doing their work and 20% of their time letting everyone know what a great job they are doing. Women tend to spend 100% of their time doing their work. The consequence of being focused on our daily work and tasks is that we spend more time managing our jobs than managing our careers. We are the work horses who get stuck in middle management or stuck with a business that is not profitable.

But what if you want to move your career forward? How do you get out of the habit of being a work horse and placing last in the race to the top?

Schedule time to:

  1. Journal your accomplishments every day.
  2. Schedule at least one networking lunch or meeting per week.
  3. Find opportunities within the workplace to be visible, to attend a meeting or training.
  4. Find opportunities outside the workplace for networking, volunteering, ongoing education.
  5. Connect with people wherever you are (gym, hair salon, soccer games, train, coffee shops) to learn more about them and build your network.
  6. Look for opportunities for professional development (courses, books, coaching, mentoring).
  7. Review your career goals each quarter and ask yourself if you’re on track. What have you done this quarter to help you reach that goal? Create some new strategies for the next 90 days.

Change your focus. Completing your to-do list is great, but reaching your goals is better. Keep your focus on the bigger picture of where you want to go with your career or business or you will end up a master of the to-do list, but not reaching your full potential.