Are you a fan of To-Do lists, thrilling at the thought of completing a task so you can succinctly cross it off the list? Or are you overwhelmed at the thought of itemizing every possible task ahead of you and THEN crossing each off as you complete them?
What is a Do-To list?
The essence of a To-Do list is a visual representation of what is in our mind. To-Do lists help us to organize everything from household chores to holiday shopping to work-related tasks.
We start with a “brain dump” and empty from our minds all those things we want or need to do on to the list. The next step is to prioritize those items. We’re creating a hard copy back-up of our brain cells, freeing them up to focus on doing rather than remembering.
What are the challenges?
Sometimes people avoid To-Do lists because they can seem never-ending…cross off, add, cross off, and add…it can go on forever. It can also feel too structured with no room for unplanned interruptions, making the list all kitty whompus and overwhelming. And of course, for every person who feels a sense of accomplishment by crossing off items on the list, there is someone who probably feels immobilized by stress when things don’t get crossed off quickly enough.
Even with these challenges, To-Do lists are one of the most effective ways to organize your thoughts so you can get back to the doing of life. There is also the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing off a completed task. I may even know someone who adds a task after completion to get that sense of satisfaction (oh alright, I confess, it’s me). Try it. You might be surprised just how motivating it can be!
How do I start?
The secret to making an effective To-Do list work for you is to choose a style that works WITH you, instead of giving you yet one more thing to do. Next week we’ll cover some different styles of To-Do lists. I’ll be giving you the tips and tricks you need to start making lists – and making progress.
Do you use To-Do lists or wing it? What do you find helpful and/or your biggest obstacle? Comment below and we’ll learn together!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who