No More Resolutions

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.

Forgive me for the hate.


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.

Make To Do List

Make To Do List

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
Break big jobs, like your woodworking project, into segments. Instead of listing overhaul engine, try the far more manageable steps, 26. clean carburetor, 27. replace radiator hoses, 28. change distributor rotor,… Want to lose 20 pounds? Put Lose one pound on the list at 5, 10, 15, 20…

expiration date3. 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 If you have a few big projects, you will not feel the defeat of an out-of-date list.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!

English: A stopwatch is a hand-held timepiece ...

Ready, GO!.

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.

English: Bronzed Baby Shoes

Take small steps.

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.

English: A female African Bush Elephant in Mik...

One bite at a time.

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?

© Red Dwyer 2012
Stopwatch compliments of WikiMedia
Reblogging of this or any other post on The M3 Blog is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office. 
Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. That’s what I have a wall diary for!!! 🙂

    Everything written down ready for when it needs doing! 🙂

    God Bless!


  2. Oh that to-do list ackk! Prioritize the list into what needs to be done first, second… And add timeframes as well (do number one today, number four tomorrow…). Procrastinating can make for some extra stress, and who needs that?!

    • The beauty of this method is there is not such stress-producing deadlines. Knowing when I was “working” I had daily lists, many things fell by the wayside. This was the perfect solution to take the stress away, but still get the things I needed done…done. it helped me not procrastinate the big jobs because I did not have 3-5 days (weeks) to finish them. Baby steps 😉

  3. I never bother with resolutions Red, I mean what is the point in them? For me I just do whatever needs doing at any given time, there are no lists or reminders, I already know what has to be done and so I just get on with it without question, and for me it works extremely well…

    Have a wonderful rest of
    afternoon and evening Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Organized in the mind is an expedient path, my friend. I hope your night is a glorious one, Andro. Red.

      • Yes and I hope that your evening is wonderful too Red 🙂 You know there are many couples that I know that fall out over nothing at all, and it is usually the male of the partnership that fails, I guess some men just cannot adapt, or are unwilling to share the home responsibilities, even to the point of crying over who’s turn it is to take out the trash 🙁

        Well I never bother with that scenario, I have always shared everything and I would never complain about whatever job I was doing, even ironing and washing up, sorting out the laundry, shopping or whatever, it isn’t a task, it is something that just needs to be sorted out and there is no name tag on what has to be done next 🙂

        I have always been like that and when I see my friends moaning over such ridiculous things, I just cannot understand it… Ahh well we are all different I suppose but in general I think that men need to get a grip and start sharing the housework… Well in my own opinion anyway 🙂

        Yes I know wittering, and off subject again 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

        • Nothing doing. You are actually touching on the next post, although relating to this one. Some ppl seem to think my posts never have anything to do with one another, but you are proving that a falsehood.

          My question to the Mates who blather about household chores is always:

          If you lived alone, who would be doing these things? Did you gain a Mate or a house servant? What are you paying and are you reporting the taxes?”

          Generally, the subject turns at that point to one of shame and introspection about the foundation of the relationship. Harsh? Mayhap, but if it serves the purpose of the wake up call, the work is worthwhile.

          Thank you for tying this nicely, despite your claim to wittering! 🙂

  4. The only one that works for me is “Reward Yourself” —

  5. I just don’t write a list, therefore I never have anything to do…..I blo***y wish.
    Being a good procrastinator I put writing this comment off until today.

  1. No More Resolutions | internetbillboards |
  2. No More Resolutions | Internet Billboards
  3. Around the Block | Momma's Money Matters
  4. You got a what? | Momma's Money Matters
  5. Leaves and Pages and Elephants | The M3 Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.