Throw away the To Do List.
Most of us are in the habit of writing out our to-do lists. We love the feeling of breaking down everything we have to do, listing it, and then crossing it out as we complete it. It feels so good to cross it out!
But this is actually working against us. It isn’t setting us up for success.
Let me illustrate the point with a quick story. A woman by the name of Lisa found that she would shut down after writing out her to-do list. She used all the organizational tools at her disposal: pen and paper, quick notes, an app on her phone, reminders set to pop up at certain times. Everything she could think of. Yet once she listed out everything she had to do, she felt worse, not better. The list overwhelmed her.
She would find that when she listed all that she had to do, there in plain sight glaring right back at her, she would feel panic. It felt daunting to see all that she had to do, and it was too much. She would feel overwhelmed. Her heart would race, her palms would sweat. How was she going to get it all done? There weren’t enough hours in the day!! This was too much for her to handle.
So instead of tackling the to – do list once it was written, the opposite would happen. She would shut down. She would look at the list, feel like it was impossible, and do something, anything else to take her mind off of all she had to do. Lisa had a ton of ways to avoid all that she had to do – she would eat a snack, make coffee, take a nap, call a friend, clean her apartment. She would do everything except the one thing she needed to do. She distracted herself, numbed herself, and did anything else.
But there is a better way. Instead of writing out all that we have to do and getting overwhelmed, we can start scheduling it.
Opening up our calendars and blocking out time to do the things we have to do instead of making a to do list can help us. When we have structured, dedicated time to do certain things, it can lessen the feeling of overwhelm. It can put our mind at ease to know that we have set aside time reserved for that one thing, and that we know when we are going to do it and how we are going to get it done.
Scheduling what we have to do on our calendars gives us a sense of feeling in control. It puts our mind at ease because we know that it is going to get done, and we know when it is going to happen.
So instead of a TO DO LIST, SCHEDULE IT instead.
Tell me, in the comments below, how you are going to schedule your to do list today!??