7 steps 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, being so busy so you don't forget. But do you need it? The actual reason your to do list is still there - because you never actually tried to do things straight away! It is being lazy, not organised and procrastinating.
Full respect to 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 important, but urgent things and other people’s needs overtake 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 just there, 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, literally just sit down and make a list - or add on to your existing list of to-do things in every area and aspect of your life. Write down about absolutely anything coming to your mind, invest your time to make it - The Final List! You can do it either on your computer, notepad or just 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. Working on both will not take too much of your time if you follow next steps.
STEP 3: Highlight the most urgent tasks - put them in order by due date. Repetitive tasks - preplan ahead: if that's a tax return, you know it must be done every year, so just 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. The you just tidy all documents up, prepare all necessary paperwork and stay relaxed until next time. When 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, then put down "one article a day".
STEP 5: Write two tasks into every day of your diary: choose the most productive time of your day or first thing in the morning. This way it will be done and all day long you will have an amazing feeling of accomplishment! It could be 5 days a week or 7, up to you. I prefer to do it 5 days a week, then the weekend is for 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 earlier, one task must not take longer than an hour. If you still have that desired chocolate - then let's say you will have to put £10.00 into your money box. This way you will definitely motivate yourself - you will still crave for something sweet, but you will know you can't have it. So, it will make you more productive! And if you will break the rules - then at least you will save money because of it.
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 literally 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 every day. 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! Wishing you all the best with that!
For more details please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.