Newly initiated to the PRU and seeing loads of resolutions from my fellow bloggers, I have to share a secret to getting things off the to-do list.
As a procrastinator at heart, crossing items off my to-do list seemed impossible. Not being one to keep New Year’s resolutions as well as hating the proverbial Honey-do list, I tried this tactic instead. By organizing my chores in a slightly different arrangement, I found I love the feeling of accomplishment.
1. Have faith!
You can do this. One of the biggest hurdles to the to-do list is the belief you will not get it done because you have to do it. Resentment, distaste or laziness, you do not want to do what is on the list. You can overcome all of those.
2. Bear With Me
Make a list of the first 100 things you know you need to do. List everything, even if it is a five minute job. Examples:
- Write a thank you note to your aunt for the gift she sent
- Sand wood working project
- Clean out the cabinet over the refrigerator
- Take Mate on weekend trip
- Stain woodworking project
- Buy new shoes. (Should appear on list at least three times.)
- Throw away old paperwork
- Polyurethane woodworking project
- Find yearbook club field trip permission slip
- Save $10
- Sign permission slip
- Lose one pound
3. Date the list.
Make a reasonable time frame. I like having all year. Surprisingly, this does not foster procrastination. This is the perfect time for this list and a yearlong goal. If you have a few big projects, you will not feel the defeat of an out-of-date list.
4. Have a Quickie
When you have five or more minutes, day or night, check your list. Find a job on the list that you can do in the time you have right now and do it. While you are looking, cross off all of the things you have done already. You do not have to do the items on the list in order!
5. Seek and Destroy
Job #82 crossed off the list. Do you still have a few minutes? Find another job. Did you lose three pounds? Cross them off the list.
6. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you are out of time. Jobs you think will take a long time can sometimes be accomplished in just a few minutes.
7. Enlist Help
Read: Children, Bestie or Mate. Two sets of hands are always faster than one. Whether this is delegating an item or having help finishing a bigger item, help is always good.
8. Baby Steps
Do not fear starting something and not being able to finish it. By breaking big jobs down into steps, you can finish any job without being overwhelmed.
9. Reward yourself.
When you accomplish five jobs from your to-do list, celebrate! Have a cup of cappuccino or go out for an ice cream.
10. Big Reward
When the list is finished, celebrate a lot. Take off a few days or have a massage. Go back to step 1! You will have a lot more faith than the first time you made the list. Like every task, the more often you do it, the faster you can do it. See if you can finish a second list in the time you set aside for the first.
Time to Eat the Elephant
Anyone can eat an elephant. Take one bite at a time. You can finish any task as long as you break it down into manageable pieces.
Every year I manage to make and finish at least four lists, without working on it everyday. Some days are eight items off of the to-do list. Some items take three days. The best part is looking for a job on the to-do list and finding I have already done three!
Do you have trouble with to-do lists? Can you make a list of 100 things you want to do this year? What big job are you willing to tackle with this method?