People are remarkably bad at remembering long lists of goals. The longer the lists of to-dos and goals, the more overwhelmed and off-track we become. Clarity comes with simplicity. ~Brendon Burchard
Most of us have To Do lists, whether written on a piece of paper or logged into our SmartPhone. Do you often find yourself looking at your list and thinking, “There is no way I can get these all done?”
Well, there is a way to write a To Do list that allows us to achieve the items on that list but also to make ourselves feel good once we’ve completed them. This new way of approaching our To Do list will free us of guilt, allow us to focus on productivity, prioritize our tasks, and master a new way to be.
Below are 4 ways to make your To Do list more achievable while also feeling rewarded and motivated in the process.
1. Write it down
Research shows our brains have a limited capacity for short term memory. As soon as a To Do item pops into your mind, jot it down. Once its in our journal, on a piece of paper or in our phone, then we don’t have to worry about trying to remember that task and we can focus on the other items at hand. Keep a running list of all tasks and pull from that list to compile a daily list.
2. Keep your daily list short
Often, our lists are so long that we are overwhelmed. Where do we start? Which task is most important? To ensure our daily To Do list is manageable and something we can complete, pick the top 3 or 4 things from your long list. This increases our success because we are aware of what need to be accomplished today.
3. Be realistic
We tend to over-estimate our bandwidth and choose items that may not fit within the time we have on a particular day. For example, if a top To Do is preparing for a a visit with the CPA, that will take some dedicated time. Consider whether a Monday is really the best day to try and tackle this project, or if it’s best left when other obligations are minimal. This also means planning in advance and trying not to let bigger tasks wait until the last minute. Or, if completing this task is critical, this should be the only major task on the daily To Do list.
4. Reward yourself
There is something supremely more satisfying than being able to cross or delete something off our To Do list. When it’s done, ensure there is a mental reward, be it a thick line drawn through that item, a ping or checkmark on our pone app to indicate completion. These rewards make our brain feel great, which in turn motivates us to move onto the next item on the list.
The Bullet Journal concept
One great new ‘life hack’ that can help keep us and our information organized, including our To Do lists, is the Bullet Journal. Using the journal of your choice, you can employ a method that tracks yearly, monthly and daily tasks, events, your gratitudes, general information and more, all in one place. It’s customizable, forgiving and uses rapid logging so its fast and easy.