The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Emily R. at My Love For Words.
I love making to do lists. When I’m overwhelmed or stressed by how much I have to do, the simple act of writing everything down on a piece of paper can calm and destress me.
Unfortunately, that relief is sometimes short-lived. It’s not uncommon for me to write my to do lists with the best of intentions only to end up neglecting many (if not most!) of the tasks. The resulting stress makes me create a new, updated to do list, and the vicious cycle begins: get stressed, make list, finish only a few tasks, get stressed again, make a new list… it can be really frustrating.
Over the summer I read a fascinating piece about why millionaires don’t use to-do lists, and I realized the HUGE mistake I’d been making and why so many of my to-do lists end up undone. So what’s the secret the millionaires know that I didn’t? All of their tasks ultimately end up on their calendars not just on a basic list. How smart is that?!
I’m not ready to give up on a general to do list altogether because it helps me keep track of and prioritize my tasks, but I have drastically changed how I use them.
I now begin with a general list of all my must-dos. This is basically a cathartic brain dump. It makes my tasks feel manageable and a lot less overwhelming, but now I take my to do list one step further, and this is the key… everything on my to do list immediately gets added to my weekly schedule.
The simple change of scheduling my to dos has been great because:
1. My stress and anxiety over when or how things will get done has greatly decreased because everything’s already planned.
2. I schedule the most important things first. This helps me keep my priorities straight and my time jar correctly filled.
3. I can easily see if I’m running out of time and trying to squeeze too many things into my week. I no longer feel guilty about putting off tasks because they’re just being scheduled for a later date instead of indefinitely ignored.
This is why I designed my new to do list with room for tasks and scheduling, and I’m excited to share that it’s a sneak peek of my soon to be released printable planner, This Organized Life. You can download your free copy today by clicking here.
I’d love to know if you’re addicted to making to do lists like I am? How do you guarantee that everything gets done?
Emily is a wife and stay-at-home mom to her four children. She’s currently sharing the good, bad, and ugly in her journey to creating an organized and decluttered home on her blog My Love for Words. She also shares recipes, crafts, home decor ideas, and thoughts on life and motherhood. When she isn’t blogging, she can be found reading, cooking, or homeschooling her kids.