Your to-do list is your path to time management success. It gives you a path to both your long and your short-term goals. But all-too-often, the way we approach this powerful time tool presents us with hurdles rather than stepping stones.
In Part 1 we looked at one destructive and discouraging myth – the one that tells us “To-Do Lists Don’t Work“. Having laid that one to rest, let’s look today at two more myths that get in the way of your to-do list success – and 2 powerful realities to counter those myths:
To-Do List Myth #2: “To-do lists will just make me feel rotten (or guilty or overwhelmed) at the end of the day.”
Of course, no one wants to feel that way! If you feel this way about your to-do list you certainly won’t want to create one. But, in reality, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth!
To-Do List Reality: Effective To-do Lists will make you feel powerful and accomplished at the end of the day!
The secret? Make them short. Only put on what you can realistically do and are motivated to do.
If a project can’t get done today, don’t put it on today’s list. Or only enter the small portion you can accomplish. Anything else goes onto your weekly or monthly list, in doable chunks!
NOW see how you feel at the end of the day!
To-Do List Myth #3: “To-do lists will just remind me of what I hate doing in my life or what I’ll never be able to get around to doing anyway.”
We all face tasks that we don’t necessarily like to do. There are ways that you can use your to-do list to make this more palatable for yourself, so read on!
Reality: Making Effective To-do Lists helps you face what you dislike … and that’s a benefit!
Resentment wastes time; your to-do list keeps you moving. Examine what you have identified as necessary. If it’s truly necessary, then clarify and reinforce why you value it. Don’t spend your precious time resenting it. If it’s not necessary, you can omit it from your list.
And if you notice that a valued activity keeps getting skipped over on your to-do list, you can rework your time choices so that you accomplish what is truly most important to you!
Learning to plan and accomplish tasks in manageable increments is a time management skill built for success – and having an effective to-do list is a key tool in your toolbox.
© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.