If you’re anything like me, you sit down to write your to do list and it ends up a mile long. This can have the opposite effect from what you want. It may overwhelm you more than it helps. To make it more manageable, I’m going to share with you three things to include on a to-do list.
Making a To-Do List
In any given day you may have 10-20 things you feel NEED to get done. You may even try to prioritize those items. This can be difficult because everything feels so important. At the end of the day you only feel successful if you’ve put a check in every box. You are setting yourself up to end the day disappointed. This ultimately will bring down your self-esteem and self-worth.
“If everything is important, then nothing is.” ― Patrick Lencioni
Three Things to Include on a To-Do List
In reality your daily to-do list only needs to include three things. Pick one “to-do” for each question below.
1.What have I been putting off?
You may have heard the phrase, “Eat the frog.” It implies that we all have a “frog.” Something that we don’t want to “eat” or do. It’s easy to procrastinate and we all do it. Pick something that you have been avoiding and put it as the first item on your list. If you get this done first, you will feel accomplished in the morning.
2. What do I HAVE to do today?
If you could only accomplish one task today, what should it be? This is an item that absolutely cannot wait until tomorrow. It’s not part of your daily routine. For example, if you need to drop a package at the post office so it arrives by a certain date, then this could be your MUST do. I know what you are thinking. I want you to pick one.
3. What am I doing for myself?
If you spend the day working on items you don’t like, you will end the day feeling burnt out. Everyday you should do one thing for yourself. Some suggestions include reading a book, taking a bath, going for a walk, watching your favorite TV, meditation, etc. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. The only requirement: it must be completely for you.
If you just can’t live without a master list, you can keep a brain dump. This is not list of items that must be added to today’s to-do list. This brain dump you can reference when you need it. Plus it will help clear your mind of remembering everything that will eventually need to be accomplished.
At the end of the day, being able to cross off all three items on your to-do list will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. It will provide the structure and balance you need to avoid burnout or disappointment. It’s that simple. There are only three things to include on a to-do list.
Need help figuring out how to add something your doing for yourself to your list? Click here to find self-care tips.