In the last post you shared some excellent tips for how you handle your to do list.
Some of the suggestions included the following:
Setting up a filter, so anything that gets on your to do list REALLY MATTERS.
Using a physical notebook and highlighters.
Implimenting various iPhone productivity apps.
Focusing on one specific item at a time.
Thanks for your thoughts! Each of these is a great suggestion worth considering. However, even with those approaches, to do lists are often still overwhelming. How can we manage this chaos? I believe the real problem often lies in the list itself.
Here is what the to do list for a parent might look like:
Take Johnny to soccer practice.
Dinner with the Millers tomorrow night.
Go to grocery store.
I can not process a to do list like this easily. I honestly get somewhat overwhelmed just reading through that list. Here is a revamped version of the same list in an order that make sense to me.
Write out Grocery list.
Throw clothes in washer.
Take Johnny to Practice
Grocery trip/put away groceries.
Throw clothes in dryer.
Put clothes away.
*Dinner with the Millers
I marked haircut and dinner with the Millers with a * to remind me they will happen later.
What did I do? I used as many action steps as possible. For example, just the phrase do laundry, is a bit more overwhelming than throw clothes into washer. File taxes is much more overwhelming than call CPA. One item sounds like a 10 hour item and the other sounds like it will take 10 minutes.
Most importantly, by organizing the list I gave myself a sense of order and control versus the unstable feeling I had in my stomach when I read the first to do list.
I encourage you to take control of your to do list. It’s COMPLETELY up to you.