Eradicating the never ending to do list.
To do lists are insidious evil things that never seem to move on or go away! Are you with me? There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the day with STILL long list of things that require doing — in fact.. with more things added to the list than what were even on there at the start of the day.
Being a mother 3 and the wife of a farmer and juggling my business in the mix of all of that, life is BUSSSY.
You, there’s this misconception ‘out there’ that being BUSY & having loads of stuff on the go equates to being productive and therefore getting more results, and I’ve found, after testing this method numerous times (for more years than I’d like to confirm) that this is not necessarily the case!
What I’ve personally found, is that the longer the to-do list, the more I’d procrastinate. I’d get to the end of the day and look at what my list, and rather than looking at what I’d ACHIEVED, I was looking at what I had NOT achieved…
And guess what that brings? Hello that feeling of underwhelm. That feeling of annoyance. That feeling of being mad at myself, because I didn’t work perhaps as hard as I should have in order to get everything done.
To me, it’s like setting myself up for failure.
The biggest thing that I’ve changed (which actually helped me to get more done), was to have LESS things on the list… but more strategic things on the list.
I’d have my BIG master list and then create a sub list from there. You still with me? Phew.
Let’s say for example, I wanted to get the house decluttered. That would go on the master list. I’d create a sub list with, say, 4 specific things that I would do in order to get that task underway — not necessarily COMPLETED, but underway.
That way, when I got to the end of the day and I was looking at what I’d achieved, I’d actually FEEL GOOD because I was able to start ticking things off.
I transferred this into my LIFE, into my business, into managing the kids, into EVERYTHING (even the batch cooking that I do every 2 weeks).
I was tired of feeling underwhelmed with what I’d achieved and tired of beating myself up.
I wanted to set a good example for my children on how to manage things better. I wanted to set a good example and create a system for my clients and I wanted IT TO ROCK!!!!
And it does. And here’s the simple way to do it:
- Create your big picture list of what you want to do (ie. Website overhaul, decluttering, work projects, etc)
- Break that down into 3–4 things that you are going to focus on doing to get you towards achieving it
- Take ACTION!
- And then, at the end of the day, tick off everything that you’ve done — hello that feeling of ACHIEVEMENT!
- If you want another step in there, something I’ve been known to do is to add onto that list things that I’ve done that weren’t on there, just so I can cross stuff off and feel even more productive by the time the end of the day comes around!
Life is busy enough — and we have so much going on, that if we can create simple ways of getting done what we need done — so you can feel like you can CELEBRATE at the end of the day rather than feeling like a failure because you never get through that epic list!
Originally published at medium.com