Mastering your To Do's
Do you notice how inviting that couch, bed, social media scroll-a-thon, and Netflix can be when you have an overwhelming amount of things to get started on? Before you give in to those sweet but false comforts, keep reading on!
The most helpful thing that you can do when you have a towering to do list or a new grandiose goal, is to start with just one task or element. Break down your big goal or task into smaller to do's. Don't worry about making a whole plan that will take you to the finish line. Just start simple and start with one thing.
For example, you want to be debt free. You currently have an outstanding auto loan, several student loans, and a mountain of credit card debt. First, assess all the debt you have. Then decide which particular debt you want to pay off first. Obviously you have to send money to all of them but choose one that you will pay off first.
Another example is when you have house repairs and maintenance that keep piling up. If you own a house you know that something is always breaking down or needing to be refreshed. That list can get really long and really out of control. Write down everything that needs to be done and then choose one thing to start with.
When you’re tackling your to do’s, some things may just take a few hours of focused work while others will take weeks or maybe even months. But if you stick to your plan and tackle one thing at a time to completion (completion being the key word), a few things start to happen subconsciously.
Keeping some sort of visual list and crossing off what you’ve done creates a sense of accomplishment. This energy helps to keep you moving forward and onto your next task.
The other thing is that when you complete a task from start to finish, you are training your brain to say: Yes! I AM capable of completing things. The more you imprint this into your mind, the easier it is to combat doubt and procrastination.
Getting things done is part of the process of creating habits. The more you practice getting things done, the more these things will become habitual and easier to do. The most important thing is to just start. Jump in, hop on, climb in, step up, whatever you need to do, just get started! Identify what it is you want to do, write it down and then decide on what you want to tackle first.
Here are some ways I personally organize my tasks day to day.
If life is getting crazy, work is slammed, the kids are screaming, the house is falling apart and I feel like I cannot get anything done that I want to get done, I keep it super simple. Each night, I list three things I will accomplish that next day. This gives me the flexibility to do these things at my own pace and in-between the madness. I keep these three things very basic so I know I will be able to do them. This helps me rebuild the momentum I need to get back on track.
If several days have gone by and I am not sticking to the tasks that are aligned with my greater goals, I go to my list option. This is when I make a list of everything that I want to get done and then I decide each morning which few things I'm gonna tackle for the day. Writing out a full list allows me to revisit my goals and see what is really a priority to me at this time and what can take a seat.
Hour by Hour
When I'm feeling really focused and I know I can be productive, I challenge myself with a schedule that isn't so flexible. This really allows me to practice sticking to my tasks and prioritizing my time. I create a daily itinerary that is hour by hour, and I make sure that each block is scheduled with everything from lunch and exercise to completing an assignment for work.
Remember, completing each task is really about proving to yourself that Yes! I can do this! and not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by the greater tasks or goal. So take your mountain of things to do and your super outrageously big dream goals and just get started. Get started RIGHT RIGHT now!