Anyone who knows me knows this about me very well; I am a lists person. Whether it is work-related or my personal life, I need to create a list of activities that needs to get done on a given day before I can start my day. This has been me ever since I can remember. I still find sticky notes stuck on old books and diaries with the list of things that needed to get done back in 2001.
Over the years, I have read a lot on prioritizing and practiced most of them, and finally, I can say I have come up with something that works for me.
So, if you are struggling with your to-do list, I invite you to continue reading and see if my method helps you too to slay that to do list.
It's important first to know everything will not get done, and that is okay. Does that take off some pressure? When this realization that not everything will get done had hit me it was such a big relief.
Now that you're feeling lighter know this - you have to prioritize. And that is singular. Only one thing can be a priority at any given point of time. You cannot have five things as priority, and a priority list is not really a thing, there cannot be a list of priorities. It has to be singular.
I like to start my month with making a list of activities that needs to get done in that month. Everything that comes to my mind is written down. I like to call it the brain dump process. As I go through the month if there is anything else that comes up I keep adding it to this list. This way I clear up space in my head and feel less pressured to remember everything.
Once I have this list I look at things that are repetitive, things that need to get done daily and things that need to get done weekly.
By the end, you should have three lists under daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks. Under each, you should have one priority. Time and the impact of the task are two things you should look at while deciding the priority. This will depend on by when it needs to get done, and whether it is dependent on other activities.
Once you have your list ready it's time to get started.
I felt considerably demotivated when I would make my to-do list every single day. At the end of the day, I would get just one or two tasks done and would sit rewriting everything for the next day. Some days I wouldn't even finish an activity, or it would be a work in progress. It made me feel like a loser.
That's when I started writing weekly to-do lists. One corner has activities that need to get done on a daily basis like doing dishes and cooking, or responding to emails and checking in with my VA and the rest is pulled from my monthly to-do list.
This gives me the flexibility of picking the priority for that week and working on the rest as and when I get time. It was a big confidence booster as I was not rewriting my to-do list every day and actually accomplishing something.
If you are a visual person like me I think seeing what I do will help so, here are some pictures of what my to-do list looks like.
I hope this helps. But don't go by my word, try this for yourself to see if this helps you slay that to do list.