I once worked with someone who absolutely refused to write a to do list. He said that there was no point because the list always got longer and never disappeared. This got me thinking, I mean isn’t that the very nature of to do lists? There are always things to do and always things to add to your list. However, I do take his point on the fact that if out of control, to do lists grow and grow and can just end up stressing you out.
If I’m honest though, I quite like writing to do lists – I’m not as free spirited as my colleague was and would never consider not having at least a mental list of things to do – most people I know would fall into that category too. I do have a simple set of rules to follow though, to stop them from getting out of control:
- Keep your to do list to no more than 10 items – you can always add to it if necessary, once you’ve completed those tasks!
- Prioritise – Put a ‘1’ next to those ‘must do today’ tasks, ‘2’ for the next most important and ‘3’ for the least important for that day.
- Group tasks together – If you have a couple of things that require phone calls, group these together as it will help you focus and save you from switching too much from one thing to another.
- Build in some time for a short break – we all need a break away whether it’s 5 minutes for a coffee, half an hour lunch or a quick walk round the block. If it’s on your to do list, you give yourself permission to do it.
- Finally, be honest and really think about what you can achieve. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 10 things on your list, as long as it’s achievable for you.
All sorts of tasks can end up on a to do list and this is where I come in. If you have an excess of tasks and think you need an additional pair of hands then get in contact so that I can help you.