I finished my whole daily to do list yesterday. Yes, the whole thing. It happens rarely, since I am still not the best time estimator.
But, I am playing with estimating time. I am timing how long it takes to go through my email, how long it takes to go through the daily paperwork and how long it takes me to do other daily type tasks.
I’ve been doing that for almost a week and am amazed at how long certain tasks take. No wonder it is hard to cram more into a day.
If we do the basics every day like exercise, eat healthy, keep up with email and paperwork, do daily household maintenance, sleep, work, and spend time in relationships, we don’t have time to add another 20 things to our list.
We rush through the dailies of life to get to the “real stuff.” Maybe we would enjoy our lives more if we thought of the dailies as our real life. We could enjoy the cooking with beautiful fruits and vegetables. We would feel proud at the shiny polished table. We might write a thank you note as we go through our papers.
We might have cleaner homes and healthier bodies. We might not have a backlog of tasks we think we should do that drains our energy. Think how freeing it would feel not to pressure yourself to do more all the time.
So how can you get to the bottom of your to do list?
1. Write down how long it takes you to do your daily tasks for a week.
2. Average the time out and see how much time you have left over.
3. Are you trying to fit in too many goals, projects, volunteering, etc. into your schedule?
4. What can you move from your to do list, to a someday/possibility list?
5. Keep in mind that every new commitment has to go somewhere. And if your life is already stuffed with activities, you may need to unload one of your other commitments.
6. When you create your to do list, add actions that you think could be completed in the time left over after daily tasks. Now take off at least two actions for those unplanned life interruptions.
7. Note how many actions you have completed each day. Keep track for a week and average out your finished tasks.
8. Use this number to make future to do lists. If you start adding more tasks then that number, it is unlikely they will all get finished. So you would want to delegate something, get rid of tasks/projects or put actions down for a later date.
Don’t let an unrealistic to do list bring you down.
Let me tell you, it feels great to complete a to do list!