Declutter your to-do list

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2019

How can I get more done every day? My to-do list is overflowing with uncompleted tasks? Does this sound familiar? I know this feeling all too well! I have walked in those overflowing, worn out shoes.

When I am asked the first question above by an organizing client, I like to to turn it around. I will ask them, “ what do you actually need to get done?” This question really gets people! Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves we need to create a to-do list a mile long. But is it necessary to have a list like that? This is why you can’t get more done. Your list is filled with alot of stuff but not necessarily of substance. Your list is cluttered. A cluttered to-do list is never ending and never finished!

Here are 4 steps to decluttering your to-do list.

  1. Know your purpose. This should take you some time to quietly reflect on this. I highly recommend using prayer to aid in your success. Write it down in a few places because it serves as a great reminder of why you need to declutter your to-do list. Refer to it daily. One thing to keep in mind is that this may need to be revised as the season of life dictates.
  2. Prioritize your activities needing to get done. There should be 3 for each day and they should connect to your purpose. Only pick the 3 activities that are non-negotiable. When you’ve completed these 3, you can pick the next activity of priority on your list. Depending on your 3, they may change from day to day and be easy and quick to complete. That’s great if it happens because you can definitely look at something else on your list. There may be days when it’s a real challenge to get all 3 done and it’s okay because you now have a clearer idea of your purpose.
  3. As you decided on the priority of tasks and narrowed it down to 3 you need to plan your day around them! Take out your planner, I love the Living Well Planner for identifying priorities and getting them on my calendar. Write your top 3 at the top of the page if there is not a space to write in. Look at the whole day-how long will it each item take? (best to overestimate to ensure success) Write down on the calendar what time you will do them. Unless you have an emergency, stick to the schedule at least in the beginning!
  4. The last step is really important so don’t skip it!! Praise yourself for your success! Even if the day didn’t go as planned, praiser yourself.

Give praise for steps 1,2 and 3 and look for what you did accomplish. Take a look a what you didn’t get done and try to determine why. Please don’t get stuck here, this should only take a moment or two to reflect on. Chances are you will realize it wasn’t as big of a priority as you thought it was. 

As this becomes a habit you can expect to have a decluttered to-do list! Your awareness in determining what’s most important will override filling the list up with “stuff”. As with any habit, it takes practice. Make a commitment to these 4 steps for a month.

If you are interested in the Living Well planner, I will share my affiliate link with you. This means that I do receive a commission if you decide to purchase one. My commission is at no cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with this product because it is useful and helpful, not because of the small commissions I make. Consider purchasing only if you feel you could reach your goals more easily.

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