|My to do list for today|
I've always been big on making various kinds of lists: a list of things to do, a list of books to read, a list of recipes to try. The only problem I've ever had is actually sticking to these lists. Classic. Call me the world's biggest procrastinator, but I haven't always been like this, and I certainly don't want to continue like that. They say that it's the fear of failure that prevent us from doing certain things, and I have too many dreams to accomplish to let the procrastination stand in my way. So here is my own strategy to make an effective to do list, and stick to it:
1. Choose the best support. And the best means the most convenient for you. Your list must be easy to access - if you can't have it with you at all times, it won't work. Personally, I've always been a paper & pen kind of girl: I simply love the act of jotting down tasks and ideas on my notepad, and then crossing them out. Plus, I've had a major disappointment with Evernote so now I'm a little bit weary when it comes to phone apps. However, there's one great exception: Remember the Milk, that has proven its effectivity while grocery shopping. The bottom line is: find what works best for you and stick with it.
2. Always list a realistic number of tasks. Are you the one to jot down 50 tasks and then feel overwhelmed? Believe me, I've been there, done that. I call this "my superwoman moments", when I feel like tackling all the world's problems (starting with the world peace, obviously). Of course, that never happens. Now I write down 20 tasks maximum, and I try to have them all finished by the end of the day. Believe me, it really decreases the pressure.
3. Break down large projects into smaller, more specific tasks. Let's be honest: tasks like "clean out my closet" or "make my blog successful" scream of vagueness and frankly, they are more terryfying than motivating to me. Now, if instead of these daunting projects you list something like "edit my dresses" and "find out ways to monetize my blog", that's another question. Suddenly, we are talking about concrete actions that can be accomplished in one day. Remember, baby steps are everything.
4. Use your productivity to your best advantage. Figure out when, during the day, you feel most productive, and schedule the most demanding tasks during this time. I'm most productive in the morning, after my daily caffeine kick and my workout. That's when I feel that everything is possible and that I can do almost anything. Figure out "your time", and make the most of it.
5. Don't be too hard on yourself. This is definitely something I need to work on. Remember, we are human, not machines. If you weren't able to accomplish a task (or two; just make sure it isn't the entire list), send it to tomorrow's list and make sure it's one of the first tasks you tackle the next day.
Voilà! It seems easy, doesn't it? All you need is a little organization and a healthy dose of willpower. I now make sure to set aside 10-15 minutes every evening to think about what I've accomplished during the day and to compile my next day's list. I feel much more in charge and seeing that I'm making an actual progress toward my dreams always gives me an extra boost.
Now tell me, what is your approach to the "to-do lists"? Do you have your own special method to make it work?
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