How long is your to-do list? Do you feel like it's controlling you?
While there are many things that we cannot control, there are also many we can - the piles on our desks, the amount of sugar we intake, and our to-do lists. The to-do list is one of those things that can easily take over our lives, because it doesn't seem to get shorter, and when we do get to cross things off, we end of adding more. That never-ending list can feel like an endless loop of terrible songs on the radio. So, how can we change the way we use a to-do list so it doesn't feel like it's rolling out of control?
Let's walk through a short process.
1. Organize your to-do list in chunks, segments, or categories. This may help you alleviate the burden of a long grocery-style list.
2. Determine which segment or chunk is your priority for the day. This may need to be determined by deadlines or by what your daily maintenance tasks tend to be.
3. Give yourself a realistic timeframe when working on your list to help stay focused. Too much time allows for veering, and not enough time can cause additional stress.
4. Give yourself some leeway to do the top 3-5 tasks, depending on what they are and the time required to do them. Again, be realistic with your expectations, but push yourself to complete the prioritized list in your allotted time.
5. Make a process like this a daily routine. You will become more efficient setting up your day, and building the routine will help you stay in control of your to-do's.
We let too many things run our lives. Be the person that takes control of their to-do's so they do not control you anymore.
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