Do you struggle with a never ending To-Do list? Do you love crossing it off but hate how it keeps creeping into tomorrow’s list?
So many of us LOVE lists, an love crossing off my lists, and love making more lists. We love listing, and finding more ways to feel accomplished and successful.
The great thing about To-Do lists is the sense of immense satisfaction and accomplishment of crossing things off as they are completed. Many of us are super visual, so we LOVE crossing things off.
However, until you learn this important shift of how to do your To-Do’s, you’ll keep feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. Like, there is always so much more to do than what can be accomplished each day.
If you are as zealous about lists as me, in your excitement of creating lists you might ever really seem to complete them.
You’ll notice at the end of the day, all the things that weren’t completed were moved onto the next day, and then those things, get moved onto the next day, and it goes on and on.
Soon, you start to feel the anxiety of ALL the things that aren’t done and more unsuccessful than satisfied. Am I right?
This is the dark side about To-Do lists (particularly the ones that keep growing and morphing into some huge crazy uncontrollable hungry monster):
They never seem to be DONE.
So how do we create a To-Do list that we can feel successful, accomplished, and satisfied at the end of the day?
Start creating lists that we can accomplish.
It sounds crazy right? To good to be true?
Once you start doing them this way I promise you will never want to go back because not only will you feel better, you will complete MORE, and more of the things that will make a difference in your life.
Tip #1 – Be realistic about how much you can do in one day.
If you don’t do anything else, do this: only choose 3 things to put on your To-Do list per day, and they MUST be 3 things you can accomplish within your day with ease.
Having unfinished items that we move over to tomorrow’s list is a confidence crusher and creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. And over what? Nobody died over unfinished items on a To-Do list, unless you’re maybe a brain surgeon that uses To-Do lists in surgery. In that case, please finish ALL the things!
Tip #2 – Break it down.
Break big tasks into smaller manageable chunks.
A long time ago, I actually had “website” as one of my tasks. Seriously, like that was something I would be able to do in even a month! It became this huge daunting thing that I was super resistant to tackle. I felt like I was never getting anywhere with it no matter how much time I spent on it.
If I were to approach that again, I would divide it up into little bitty pieces like this:
- Write home page first draft.
- Choose colours.
- Choose fonts.
Breaking the big stuff into smaller stuff adds up really quickly. It helps push through resistance, and builds momentum and confidence.
Tip #3 – Edit your list.
Do you ever notice that some things are way more important to do on your list than others? In fact, some of those things are on the list for no good reason other than you are obsessed with lists and doing things and you like to cross off lists so you just keep adding more? Good, so am I!
Choose the items that are going to make the biggest difference in your life/work. Prioritize, and let the other stuff go.
Or, you can do what I do with things that I want to do but aren’t important now: make a separate list for later. You can write those ideas down somewhere, and then later go back to it to can check if they are still relevant without losing them.
Tip #4 – Remember what the list is for.
If you are obsessed with To-Do lists because of the immense joy and satisfaction you get from crossing items off, then remember the point of the list is not just DO things just for the sake of doing them.
This attitude contributes to the disease of busyness. It also creates unnecessary stress and anxiety, creates more resistance, and does the very opposite of what the list is intended for.
The point of a To-Do list is that awesome feeling of crossing it off while getting the important things done.
Now, I’d love to hear from you: Do you love a good To-Do list? What are your best tips for a great list? What tip are you going to try today? Please share your comments below.
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Thank you for shining your light, beautiful.