Part of spring cleaning is to have a plan. Cue to do lists.
We all make to-do lists. Everyday. Every week. Sometimes multiple times a day. We cross things off. Add more to do's. To do lists are endless, ongoing, and can make everyone and anyone feel good when they get things done.
But why do we sometimes feel like we get nothing done? Or we end the day with more things on our plate than when we woke up?
Today, I'm sharing a few pieces of advice that I've stumbled upon that has helped me create effective lists.
1. Choose 1 To do list.
I have a friend who has a different app for personal to-dos and work to-dos. He is constantly on the search for the latest and greatest program, with the coolest features. I have another friend who does the same thing, in addition to her notes that she writes on receipts AND a planner. Long story short, they are always overwhelmed with their daily obligations because they have so many places to find their to-dos.
Have 1 venue for your to do lists. Whether its on one app (I use Evernote,) on the Notepad feature on your iPhone, on one piece of paper, stick to one.
I used to be guilty of this. I had a paper planner, a daily to do list which I wrote on a scratch paper every morning, and a to do list app. I thought I never got things done because I had things written everywhere. Stick to one. You can categorize your lists for work, school, personal, etc. but stick. to. one.
2. Determine what belongs on a calendar and what belongs on a to do list.
While it's great to remind yourself of events, it becomes tedious to keep writing things on both your to do list and calendar all the time. If calendars are the best way to remind yourself of what you need to do that day, then use the calendar to time when you need to get certain tasks and errands done. Or set alarms and alerts for yourself on it so you don't have to put even more things on your to do list. Your calendar will remind you. This is especially helpful when you have recurring tasks and events. Utilize the calendar features so that you don't find yourself using priceless time writing things over and over again.
3. Have realistic expectations.
It's okay not to get certain things done every single day. You only know your capabilities. So make your to do list realistic. Put the most important things on top. Leave space on the bottom if you finish tasks and can do more. But don't be so hard on yourself when you don't finish it. And definitely refer to
4. Take breaks between tasks not within them.
This is so, so, so important. How many times have we decided to take a break from something WHILE doing it? Finish tasks. Then take a break. The gratification of crossing a task of will help encourage you to keep going but give you the satisfaction for all that you've gotten done. You also won't lose momentum and steam when you're actively in your task.
I would love to hear about your to do lists. What are your favorite apps? What did you find that worked?