Do you lay awake at night going over your to-do list?
Are you stressed by your list of things to do?
Do You worry that you will never be able to manage everything on your list?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, then it’s time to bin that list and run and hide.
NO only joking, well only half joking. I do still believe binning that list would help you but let’s go slow and take one step at a time.
I have read books on to-do lists and watched You tube videos on making one. Some are good. Some made me feel that my list was way too short. They even made me think that I was lazy for not doing enough.
That’s when I knew something was really wrong here. It made me think of why I had one and what was written on my list. If I was feeling this inadequate about my little list what must others think about theirs. Are they put under stress of having to do more?
Let’s look at your why for a moment. Why do you have a to-do list? Are you trying to be Superwoman and juggling too many balls at the same time? What would happen if you stop using your list, would your world fall apart?
Take a look at your why and see if this list really is important. What does this list do for you? Go deep, don’t just scrape at the surface. Really ask yourself, what would your life be like if you didn’t have one? How would you feel if none existed? Are you using this list because everyone is? Is your reason because there are lots of books/ blogs written about this list and you feel pressured.
Do you believe that to be successful you need a To-do list? Does making a to-do list keep you under control, helping you remember what you have to do that day or week? Does it give you a feeling of security? Do you feel much better when everything is out on paper and out of your mind?
The importance of having a list
To-do lists are here to help us remember important tasks we don’t want to forget. They are there to help us prioritise, to have an overview of the things we want to do.
What do I mean? Well, if I write down all my to-does then I can see which needs to be done first. Which is important and what can wait or taken off the list.
What doesn’t need to be on there
Let’s put one thing straight.
To-do lists are for important must does.
I have seen lists that would stress me out if I had to do them. Lists where everything is written down on them. From brushing your teeth to making your bed, to getting dressed. You can’t forget to brush your teeth, your mouth feels like crap after a while. So no need to write it down.
If you have to pick up your kids from school at the same time everyday, then that doesn’t need to be on your list. You will not forget your babies. Now if there is a school play you have to go to and before that you have to bring cake or coffee to the show then yes I can see you writing that down to remember.
If you are organising a fundraising and you need to phone up some companies to ask them for donations. Then yes I would write that down also plus the names and numbers.
If you want to phone your husband up and ask him how he is doing. Does that need to be on your list? If so why? Would you forget otherwise?
So let’s just say, items that are everyday routines do not need to be on your list.
Making that list
So we know what doesn’t need to be on a to-do list, what does and how do we use it?
Remember the more we plan ahead the easier life becomes with less surprises.
We are starting a new month so let’s just write down everything that needs to be done this month. Everything that has to do with
Relationships (family/ friends). Personal. Finance. Health. Business/ Job. Free time. Household. Other.
Make a list of everything that comes to mind that you have to do. Go over that list and cross off everything that isn’t important. Then divide them into the weeks of that month.
Very important tasks first. Don’t write more than 5 items on your list per day. You will see that doing those 5 will be hard enough. We want to cut out our stress not add to it.
Important. This list isn’t cut into stone it can be changed. From one day to the next. That important to-do could just go up into smoke.
Now every Sunday take that list out and revise it. Change it up. Add something new and cross something off. Allocate the item to the day of the week you want to have it done. Remember no more than 5 important items per day. Add them inside your planner. Done.
Think about who you could delegate a job to? Does that item really need to be done this week and by you?
Once the week is over
It is time to go over your past weeks list. It’s time to celebrate the things that you have accomplished.
Why this is important.
I learnt this technique from Jack Canfield coaching. You write down every success of that week. You take a moment to feel proud. You let this moment sink in. This is to show yourself that you are not lazy and to remind yourself that you have accomplish a hell of a lot. That you are Superwoman!
It is to show yourself that you have done stuff. That this feeling of not done enough, can be shooed away.
I know this feeling of thinking “Oh man, I haven’t done anything this week” Then to look and say “Oh,that’s not true I have it all written down here”
A to-do list is to help you plan.
-It helps you keep your head and could help you with taking out the stress in your life. To manage that you write only 5 to-does for a day. If you have more then you either give them to someone else, move it to an other day where you don’t have so much going on.
-It keeps you in control. It’s to help you keep track of your goals. To remember the next step you want to take.
-To free your mind so you can sleep at night. Once it’s written down you can’t forget it. You can breath and move on.
-It can also bring structure into your life. By knowing what steps to take, to write them down, do the important one first. Then move on to the next step. Holds you back from doing time wasting things.
-Helps you over come boredom. If you should ever feel lost, not knowing what to do with yourself.
It’s your list
Please don’t let anyone make you feel that the items your list are not important. Not even me. If they are on your list then there is a reason. It is your reason, and that’s important enough.
If you don’t have a list then celebrate not having one.
If you are like me and you work better with a list because you get more done. You can then see what you have done at the end of the day or week. Or if you have divided your to-does up over the week and you look at say Tuesday and say cool I have time to do nothing. Then that is also good.
Just follow your why!
Over to you
What are your feelings on having a to-do list?
Leave a comment below. Always remember your comment could be helping the next person.
A to-do list which helps you spread them out over the week.