A To Do list isn’t much help if it’s only a list of things to do that never get done. I actually have a To Do book where I keep a perpetual To Do list. Most of the time I just keep adding to the list, and checking things off as I do them. Sometimes I write the same thing down again (sometimes several times) so I don’t have to flip back as many pages in my book. I might even star something that seems really important. If it’s vitally important, I star it and write a note that says “#1 Priority.” Today I did something a little different.
If stuff on your To Do list never seems to make it to your Did It Now list, then try doing this:
List It: Make a list of everything you need to do. Deadlines don’t matter. If it’s in your head, get it out of there and on paper.
Date It: Give each task a deadline. Does it need to be done today, or next week, or next month?
Prioritize It: For all the things that need to be done TODAY, prioritize each item in order of importance to YOU. Continue numbering with items that can wait a little bit.
Time It: Sometimes the reason I put things off is because I think it’s going to take longer than it actually does. Estimate how much time you think it will realistically take for you to complete, and assign a time value to each item. Then actually time yourself for a reality check. Does it actually take an hour to unload the dishwasher? Nope! It takes 3 minutes!
Do It: Start with #1 on your list and work your way down. Do it now!
Check It: Once complete, check it off your list, and add it to your Did It Now list at the end of the day.
By the end of today, I’ve checked off 6 of the 16 things on my list (#1, 2, 3, 5 [which I delegated], 10, plus one that I forgot to number, but it was starred). Number 1 & 3 have been on my list for weeks. Feels great to have them done!
Of course I did do more things than the 6 things I checked off my To Do list. I will capture those on my Did It Now list, because I’m happy about getting those things done too.
Tomorrow I’ll add more things to the list, reprioritize, and start all over again.
Do it now!