3 Ways You Can Take Control of Your To Do List
To do lists are a life saver, but it’s easy to get obsessed by them, make them as long as our arm or give up entirely, which really defeats the object of them.
Whether you throw the list out or forget to even look at it, that’s just not helping, so I have 3 quick and easy ideas to help you get more from your to do lists and less stressed in the process. Hey, it’s a win-win!
Need, want, would like
These 3 categories are life changing. OK, that sounds a bit over the top, but I genuinely believe they are. Instead of convincing yourself you really need to get 20 things done in your day, look again. What are the essentials? The things that must be done on that day, at that time otherwise you’re in trouble? These are the needs and they might be things like picking up a prescription, doing the food shop when there’s nothing in the cupboards and meeting someone at a pre arranged time.
Next, what do you want to do? These might feel like needs, but look closely. What are the things that are a bit more fun, with fewer consequences? They might well be your wants. I want to go for a walk today and I want to do the ironing before it builds up, but I don’t need to do them. They can be done tomorrow and that takes the pressure off at least 2 items. How many can you apply that to?
Lastly are your would likes. These are fun, maybe frivolous and there’s usually a ton of these on my list. Now I don’t get upset if these roll over to another day because I didn’t need to get them done in the first place! Paint my nails? Would like to. Watching a Christmas movie? Would like to. Calling my parents? Would like to.
Try segmenting your list in this way and watch some of your stress melt away.
You know how you get a lot done when you’re up against the clock and on deadline? Yeah, me too. When I know exactly what I need to get done, and my mind is super focused, it gets smashed, often in half the time.
You can always add more on your list if you’re done by lunch time (or, you know, go off and enjoy yourself) but if you write super short list with only your top 3 priorities for the day on it, I’m betting you’ll get through things far more quickly.
Get really specific
“Do Christmas shopping” could go on your list but it won’t appear on mine. Why? Because it’ll take too long and I like ticking things off thank you very much!
Instead break it down and get really specific on what you need to do.
Write a list of who to buy for, budget for each person, think of ideas, buy gifts online, go shopping, wrap gifts, label gifts.
When you write out little stages, it’s easier to see what needs to be done and then get it done! Tick those things off, and make yourself feel awesome in the process too.
I love a helpful and productive tip or two and there’s lots more of these coming in my ebook, The Life Changing Magic of Gentle Productivity. It’s just £1.99 on Amazon, so click here to buy your copy.
What do you like to do to get the most from your to do list? Do you think you’ll try any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!