Declutter with To Do Lists

April 9, 2013

Do you use a TO DO list? Some people are die hard list makers and in fact that’s all that they do is make lists. Other people don’t make any lists at all to help keep track of what they want to do. I usually encourage clients to at least try list making to see if it will help them with their organizing projects. Sometimes I call it a “brain dump.” This process helps a client get many ideas out of their head and onto paper so they know what to do next. When doing a brain dump, a client can come up with many, many things they want on their to do list. We write them all down but then we break the list up so it is not so overwhelming.

Here are some tips pertaining to TO DO lists and how they can help you reach your goals.

Many people make a to do list with a hundred things on it. When they look at it, it just overwhelms them. Your to do list should have just three to five items on it for each day. Keep your list short and try to act on at least two of the items listed for that day. Whatever you don’t get to can be carried over to the next day; or perhaps you can look at what hasn’t been completed and eliminate it because it has lost its importance.

Look for a positive (not a negative) in each task. Accomplishing them will be more enjoyable when you know how it will benefit you when it’s completed. So out with the daunting, overwhelming must do it list and in with the new “Whoopee today I get to…….” list. Just by changing your wording you can change your thinking about getting through these otherwise daunting tasks.

Ask yourself what’s one good thing about finishing this task? Will organizing the space where you throw your keys help you be on time for appointments – because you can now find your keys when you need them. Or will painting your home office a bright, cheery color encourage you to use the office instead of sitting with your laptop on the sofa in the family room. Find the good reason you are willing to spend time checking off this item on your to do list.

If you are a list maker, keep up the good work. If you haven’t tried listing your to do’s, give it a try and see if it makes a difference in getting your projects done.

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