When I think of to-do lists, a lot of things come to mind.
A planning book, a calendar, post-its, colored pens, notes pages, notebooks, a random sheet of paper, an email to self, reminder pings...
That's a lot of things just for a list of to-do's for a 10-12 hour period, and a lot of places the same things get written. Will we have this same fear of forgetting something if we just streamline and simplify our to-do systems?
So let's think about this.
What do you really need to do to get yourself sorted out when writing your to-do list and actually getting the list finished by the end of the day?
My friend Erin has been contemplating this. She is in the midst of changing how she sets up and works through her to-do list. Erin works full-time, spouses, and moms her toddler so she has a lot going on. She was thinking about all the things - chores, social media posting, sleep, personal projects, work meetings - and more! Sound familiar?
A good starting point Erin chose was to block the days and times she planned to work late, start late, or vice verse. That was important to her yet, when I looked at her lists of all the things, embedded in the middle of her long list was her main goal ---- to get more sleep! Awesome! Self-care!
When I saw that, I reminded her that her priority/goal (sleep) needed to be scheduled in next and was her non-negotiable. Her must do. Erin knows what she needs to function at her best. She needs sleep! (Are you listening?!) A next step would be to chunk tasks, then plan everything else around her goal.
If you are planning to do something like this, I share some strategies about chunking time in the Taking Control of Your To-Do List toolkit. These help me a lot! I didn't make them up, but I morphed them from masters of focus like Nir Eyal and Michael Hyatt. I've done is spent lots of time thinking about priorities and how I operate as a worker so that I can do what needs to be done on time, whether I am working on my own timeline or someone else's - and that means chunking my time.
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