It happens to me almost daily; I overdo my to-do list. For some reason, in the early moments of the day, during the first hour of my day, I plan my items of most importance and I always, always add one, or five, things too many.
There is always one item, which I had the best of intentions of doing, that either does not get done, is completely dropped or pushed off of my plate onto a (hypothetical) tomorrow’s plate.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Are to-do lists beneficial or harmful?
There is not right or wrong answer and you can find research to validate however the hell you feel, but me, I love a good list; I am all about them. I keep lists everywhere, but there are always a few items, which without fail, always get carried over to the following day, week or month, each and every time.
For example, I have written down ‘frame pictures for hallway’ onto every month’s to-do list for the last six months. Six months people, that just feels gross to admit to.
I also have been trying to finish the same book for the past year and will not move it from my bedside table, even though I keep choosing to read something else. What is this about?
Why do not I not just get these things done with or simply admit that I am never going to do them?
Why am I not okay with the fact that I do not really care if there is not artwork in my hallway? What is so important about this damn book, that I am not even slightly interested by? Is it for other people? Is it to prove I can do it? Is it to show how well put together I am? The one thing, these things on my never ending to-do lists are doing is driving me crazy.
But….there is that time, when you eventually do cross off that item, which has been lingering for far too long.
That thing that has been nagging you, for far too many months or even years, and now it is completely and simply done. It feels blindingly brilliant to cross that sucker off of your list, once you do, but is the process worth it is the question?
Three to six good hours? For real? I do not know if I am even willing to wrap my head around that concept, because it feels far too frail and insignificant.
The one thing that to do lists do is to help me accomplish goals by chipping away at long term wants.
You know the ones I am talking about, like losing ten pounds, writing a book, going back to school, saving for a big trip, all of those things which are much more digestible in scheduled thirty to sixty minute increments on your calendar. They are also items which really easily are erased or overridden for short term needs or wants.
To-do lists can help you do more and feel more accomplished in your day. We may, statistically have only three to six good hours of work in a day, but you can train your mind and body to rise above this.
Chunk up your day into hours and see what happens.
Schedule one task per hour and see what happens. Some items may take the full hour, but others, might only take fifteen minutes of your time. Dedicate your day around your desires and watch your productivity grow.