Scared of Your ToDo List?

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I have 23 year old daughters (twins) who have been living on their own for a few years now. They pay most of their bills and day to day expenses themselves and handle all of their personal business (doctor, dental, whatever appointments). My mom told me a few months ago that one of my daughters called her and was very upset about the amount of things she had to do. My mom told her, “that’s life, honey, you’ll always have a lot to do.” I at first giggled because that’s such a mom answer and it wasn’t me who had to deliver it. But the more I thought about it, I was so glad she put the “meh” on the situation. I am very guilty of getting carried away emotionally with a to do list. I think we all are and it doesn’t always depend on the number of items or the critical nature of those items. Keeping your life in balance is key to keeping your mind and health in balance. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve a little “To-Do Bliss.”

When organizing tasks, there are 3 components to the effort:

  • Write it all down
  • Prioritize the list
  • Maintain the list

WRITE

Creating a comprehensive list is a great start but it can also be a “can of worms” moment when you see everything laid out in front of you. Before you even begin to compile your list, prepare yourself to see it. Breathing helps. Also, while you’re adding items to the list, keep in mind that not all of them are critical and need your attention right now. The whole concept of writing the list is for you to brain dump your thoughts and worries into some medium so you can begin to organize it and find some peace.

PRIORITIZE

Once you have your list in front of you, start by sorting based on their priority. Anything that has an impending due date should be prioritized first along with mission-critical items. Anything on your list that requires further research should also be prioritized so you can gauge the complexity and then prioritize again when you understand what needs to be done. Now, don’t worry if you have what seems like a hundred critical items, they can all be done in time. Be patient with yourself and set up healthy internal expectations of what is possible. You might need to get help on a few things or you may need to move a deadline in order to get something finished.

MAINTAIN

Get yourself into a cadence of how often you look at your tasks and keep them updated. If this is not already a habit for you, it will take some time but you can do it. A calendar or some kind of tool that has options to notify you via a message on your phone or an email is really helpful.

Don’t give up because once you are in a groove for keeping up with the tasks in your life, you’ll be completing more of them with a lot less chance of missing items or being late.

RESOURCES:

Google Calendar - I live by this! If you don’t already have a gmail account, I would highly recommend it. There are many apps included with your account including a pretty nice calendar. Here is a video tutorial that can help you get started - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NombARlSmC8

Trello - https://trello.com/ You can sign up for free and start using task boards to keep up with all of your work. Here is a demo of how to get started: http://help.trello.com/article/899-getting-started-video-demo.