How to deal with your to-do list?
Those long never accomplished and living in your draw forever "to-do lists".
Frequently you hear, "I need to add this to my list", or "there are sooo many things on my list - I can't take it anymore!"
Why do we bother making them if they are a part of our everyday life and yet seem live on that piece of paper forever?
It's all about feeling important, accountable, and busy, so you don't forget. But do you need it?
The actual reason your to-do list is still there - is that you never actually tried to do things straight away! It is being lazy, not organised and procrastinating.
Total respect for those who actually make a list for a day or a week and ACTUALLY complete every task!
There are only a few people like that!
You let less critical but urgent things and other people’s needs overtake you, and now you are stuck with your own needs, listed in your diary or your phone, and you know, secretly, you know - it will stay there for a while. For a very long time - to be very precise. You might cross out a thing or two, but all the rest will be waiting for...the right moment!
So here are magical steps for how you can actually finally overcome your procrastination and finally start your big action plan:
STEP 1: Make a list.
Yes, sit down and make a list - or add to your existing list of to-do things in every area and aspect of your life. Write down about everything coming to your mind, and invest your time to make it - The Final List! You can do it on your computer, notepad or phone - whatever suits you!
STEP 2: Divide it into 2 large areas: work and personal.
If you work on just one area of your life, then another will be neglected. If you follow the next steps, working on both will not take too much of your time.
STEP 3: Highlight the most urgent tasks.
- Please put them in order by the due date.
- Repetitive tasks - preplan ahead: if that's a tax return, you know it must be done every year, so preplan it ahead for next year now.
Plus, decide how you will monitor your expenses: once a month, having an accountancy day, or once a week.
Then you tidy all documents up, prepare all the necessary paperwork and stay relaxed until next time.
When the tax return comes next time - you will only need to take ready paperwork and submit it!
STEP 4: Break bigger and more complicated tasks into little steps.
No longer than one hour.
This way, it won't feel like you are doing one task forever. If that's writing a blog, put down "one article a day".
STEP 5: Write two tasks into your diary every day.
Choose the most productive time of your day or first thing in the morning. This way, it will be done, and you will have a fantastic feeling of accomplishment all day long!
It could be five days a week or 7, up to you. I prefer to do it five days a week; then the weekend is for the family!
STEP 6: Decide what will be your reward and your punishment for every day.
For example, you can't have a chocolate bar until you have completed both tasks.
As I mentioned, one task must not take an hour. Make sure your tasks are doable!
STEP 7: Write in capitals your big reward and place it in a visible place!
Reward yourself for 5 (or 7) completed days, then 10 (or 14 if you do it every day) and so on. Find an accountable partner if you can - someone you trust so you can send over your tasks, and the other person can check on you daily. You can make it a competition between friends!
After approximately 21 days, you will have a habit of doing this task-planning exercise, so it will be absolutely natural, like brushing your teeth twice a day!
I wish you all the best with that!
For more details, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.