Do you make to-do lists?
I make a lot of them. I remember making them since school days under different names like the daily plan, timetable, to-do list etc while planning my studies or daily life or vacation. Whatever ride I am in, I had a list with me. For people like me, these lists are a habit. Howsoever less you reach a finished list, It doesn’t stop you from making new ones.
In life, when we are trying to play multiple roles and have the inability to say NO, we often end up with really loooong to-do lists.
You have to clean the house. But I think you need to write a blog post first. That doesn’t mean you can forget the webinar, you joined yesterday. But there are many missed classes to catch up in that course you are doing. I remind you, you are still not doing anything about your health, though. Isn’t it so bad of you that you haven’t called home for a week? In between when is the last time you cooked a good dish for him? The laundry is still in the dryer, just in case you forgot!! Aww!! Look at your hair!! You are going to do something about it right ?
I am pretty sure that you had scarier to-do lists than this. Today let me share seven ways to deal with these deadly loong to-do lists we have. When it comes to human beings, I am a hard believer of individuality and uniqueness we possess. There is no one fits for all solutions about us. Some tips work for some people and some occasions. Choose yours and let me know if it worked.
Here you go.
1. REFINE YOUR LIST.
Take your to-do list and do a quick scan for the ones that need immediate action. Like the time bounded webinars or the deadline meetings and so on. Underline them and ignore the rest for the time being. Get the underlined tasks to a new list and start doing as if you have that short list only.
2. DO THINGS THAT TAKE MINIMUM TIME.
Looking at the list , we can see some tasks that occupy a line, but which can be done and struck off in a matter of seconds. Or a couple of minutes. Start with such quick tasks and be happy that you have a shorter list to complete.
3. EAT THE FROG.
Yes. That’s just opposite to the previous approach. But remember the point about individual choices. I had used both ways and benefited in different occasions. Eat the frog first is a famous approach propagated by Brian Tracy under the book of the same title. Tracy asks us to do the most difficult and most procrastinated task on the list first in the morning so that the rest of the list will be a breeze. Eating a frog first in the morning might make us not bother about anything else during the day.
4. READ/ WATCH INSPIRATIONAL BITS.
There is no doing just because there are lots to do. Get into the mood of doing by reading or watching something inspirational. Last week when I was overwhelmed with decluttering and organising home, I walked straight to a bookstore and bought Marie Kondo’s book on Konmari method. I completed the book in a few hours and had a decluttering spree after that.
5. ERASE AWAY.
Yes. That’s allowed. You can erase some from the list if it is tooo loong to manage. After all, it is our list guys. Who shall ever bother? And learn to say NO to things that you don’t enjoy doing.
6. GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE.
This works. When you are overwhelmed with a million jobs around, make a coffee date with yourself and just relax. These relaxing ‘me time’ gives us so much energy to do what we are supposed to do.
PS: If you are not a coffee lover, I really don’t know a substitute :-/ Coffee equals coffee only!
7. MUTE/SHUTDOWN THE SCREENS AND START DOING THE TASKS.
Let’s be honest here. These screens, phone or laptop or iPad or whatever, are the greatest distractions of this time. Sometimes just going offline and starting to work on the lists will be the best way you dealt with those looong lists ever.
What are the ways you deal with these overflowing to-do lists? Let me know in the comments below.